Diversity of cultures
Anywhere you go around this beautiful country, you will find friendly and hospitable people who are welcoming of outsiders and visitors. The country is a melting pot of diversity as many of the different island groups here have developed their own specific cultural identities over time, but a national culture can still be clearly identified. In part this is because of Pijin, the unifying language that most Solomon Islanders speak, which has allowed diverse groups to communicate and maintain common ground. In recent history, religion has also been a unifier, bringing culturally different groups together under a common shared belief.
Step back in time
Many Solomon Islanders still live a traditional lifestyle just like they have done for thousands of years, centred around fishing and farming. You can see this lifestyle in action when you visit some of the villages that are just outside the main tourist destinations. You’ll find very few roads, no electricity, no internet, no shops and no running water. But you’ll also find a serene environment with laid-back people who are enjoying their lives. Although the locals are welcoming, it’s considered impolite just to turn up, so unless you have a local contact it may be best to take a guided tour when you visit villages. If you do arrive at a village, don’t forget to offer a kastom fee.
The Pijin term kastom has a broad application but basically expresses the idea of historic culture and handing down traditional ways of doing things. It’s one of the central pillars of life in the villages and therefore children are taught this concept from a young age. It’s likely you’ll hear this term regularly during your visit.
This is another pillar of village life, the literal interpretation of Wantok is “One Talk” and is describing the sense of duty that people owe those who speak the same language. In a broader sense, it is referring to the concept that surviving as a family or clan means everyone has a responsibility to the group and needs to contribute and support others.
Solomon Islanders have a history of producing intricate and imaginative hand-crafted items and they have become very popular with visitors who want authentic mementoes of their visit. You can find traditional style carvings, jewellery, baskets and other beautiful crafts available in local markets and also at the larger markets in the tourist centres.
Call our My Solomons Holiday Experts on 1300 007 656 now to find out more about the fascinating cultural experiences available on your Solomon Islands holiday.