Unity Day in Vanuatu
Unity Day is a holiday that’s observed in Vanuatu on November 29th every year. It’s a day that was created specifically to instill in the general population a spirit of unity — which is quite ambitious considering that the Republic of Vanuatu is made up of 83 small islands where over 110+ different languages are spoken.
Although the majority of the people in this island nation come from the same ethnic background, many of the tribes on the different islands have their own unique traditions, languages, and customs. Thanks to this holiday, and other unity initiatives, the islands of Vanuatu are becoming closer to one another each year.
The History Of Unity Day In Vanuatu
In the early 1970s, the New Hebrides National Party was established, and in 1974, it was renamed the Vanua’aku Party. This party was supported by the English-speaking population of Vanuatu but was opposed by other parties that were later created.
Many of these parties were supported by the French. The Vanuatu Party stood in opposition to these other parties, and in 1977, proclaimed the creation of a provisional government. The leaders behind this party tried to raise a flag over the HQ in Port Vila, but police showed up to oppose this action.
This led to violence. Unity Day was created shortly thereafter to bring people together under the flag of a single country. Eventually, the country was able to achieve independence from the British and French in 1980.
Observing Unity Day In Vanuatu
Every year, representatives from all over Vanuatu show up in Port Vila to observe Unity Day. There are festivals where people dress up in their traditional dress, parades, and other activities that highlight the importance of unity. People also come together with their families to share a meal of taro, yam, banana, Santo beef, wild pigeon, flying fox, Lap Lap, coconut crab, or Poulet fish.