All posts tagged “subsistence livelihoods

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Vanuatu: The Historical-Social Context of Migration to Port Vila and the Moderating Effect of Kastom on Problems of Urbanisation.

Pacific culture is widely recognised for its rich vibrancy, interwoven social norms, and unique customs. Melanesian culture is viewed and revered by outsiders as a model of collectivised community; the last vestige of the authentic other from a past time. However, increasing globalisation, better access to transport and an insistence by developmental institutions to follow neo-liberal pathways have caused substantial societal disconnections. Urbanisation in the Pacific is not new; it has been occurring over many decades and will continue at an increasing rate in the years ahead. This article examines urbanisation in Vanuatu caused by the migration from Vanuatu’s outer islands to Port Vila. To date, the resilience of Ni-Vanuatu kastom has insulated many migrants from the hardship and issues caused by insufficient facilities, infrastructure and services. The article aims to provide a contextual overview up to the present time, noting cultural characteristics that are particular to the social situation of Ni-Vanuatu, but also recognising that there may be similar parallels across Melanesia.