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Someone seriously needs to work on this page

Go for it. - Hephaestos 23:45, 1 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Happiest Place on Earth? I agree!!! Very gorgeous place, its a pity I wasn't able to rent out my snorkling gear until the next after we visited Mystery Island. Amazing reef life everyone told me. If you go there, GO SNORKLING, I also think someone needs to talk about how they jump of huge platforms with lianas attached to there feet, like a primitive version of bungy jumping, I don't know enough on the subject to add anyting - Isabelle <

SAND DRAWINGS - how come there's nothing on their sand drawings in either this page or the culture one? Someone needs to put that in. (talk) 16:25, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

NONSENSE WORD - the Section "See also" contains the word (List of) Vanuatuans. There is no such word. The correct term for people from the Republic is Ni-Vanuatu. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:58, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, I have corrected the link to List of people from Vanuatu.-gadfium 00:52, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Lost in the translation[edit]

The Vanuatu national motto is very poorly translated. Unfortunately, the sense of the phrase 'Long God yumi stanap' is ambiguous and difficult to express in English.

'Long' is a preposition indicating place, and can be understood in this context to mean 'with' or 'near'.

'Yumi stanap' means, literally, 'we stand', but here it should not be understood as a literal statement. The phrase implies strength, unity and ability.

Ringbark adds: LGYS is somewhere between "We stand firm in God" and "Let us stand firm in God" - that is, it is somewhere between a statement and a command. I choose to translate "stanap" as "stand firm" rather than "stand" because it is ultimately derived from "stand up" rather than just "stand". In another context, "stanap" refers to an erection, but that is probably not relevant here.

Hi there. I think that in context Stanap actually means believe. i spent 8 weeks in Vanuatu and this is what the locals told me the translation was. (talk) 16:59, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Can I quote from "Vanuatu" a book published for independence by the institute of pacific studies. The book is written in 3 languages - Bislama, French and English. The forward is written by Walter Lini (who I believe was the first prime minister) and it says "This book is the story of our achievements. This book is the witness to our victory. This book is the celebration of our history and our victory. So we say, In God is our history, in God is our victory and in God we shall have victory. Vanuatu stands in God, lives in God and moves in God. This is what we mean by 'In God we Stand'". The final sentence of the corresponding Bislama section reading: "Hemia nao mining blong stamba toktok 'Long God Yumi Stanap'"

Anyone interested in the proper translation of the Vanuatu motto, "Long God yumi stanap", might wish to read the long discussion, essentially between an anonymous editor and me, on this subject at Talk:Vanuatu/Archive_1. Tim Ross (talk) 12:09, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Of course you may have a view that neither is the "proper" translation but as can be seen from this most recent article the "In God We Stand" is the current usage in the islands and as such we ought to respect it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:32, 14 August 2010 (UTC)


seven Two figures are mentioned in this page. One (199,000 odd) is in the fact box, while another (202,000 odd) is in the Demographics section. These ought to be synchronized. Jonathan Grynspan 17:13, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC) While someone is updating demographics, can we have something better about water area? It says negligible, but that is definitely incorrect. I'll try to fix it myself later, but someone else might be able to get there first. Ringbark 00:49, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"Due to diseases introduced by the new European populations, the native population fell to a mere 45,000 in 1935." Do you know what it fell from? 10:48, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Similarities in texts[edit]

I noticed that the first paragraph and some of the second paragraph under Economy looked very similar to the economy overview in the CIA World Factbook's Vanuatu page, which can be found at

I think this should be looked into.

UNDERWATER Post Office![dead link][edit]

Here is a link to a little-known place in Vanuatu. I know, at first I thought it was fake too. Matau 02:01, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

It's not fake...I've seen it and the Volcano Post with my own eyes...but as to whether mail is actually delivered to/collected from these postal facilities, I am not sure. I doubt it, but am happy to be proved wrong! -- 07:53, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

When I visited in 2004 and swam underwater to look at the mailbox (its not really a post office, just a mailbox) there were a half dozen Japanese tourists in the water too and they each had waterproof postcards which they had filled out - the cards are sold in town. The box was empty except for the cards inserted by the people around me - combined with the statements of locals and expats to me that mail put there really does get collected, I believe they do collect mail from there, BUT, anything other then waterproof stock will not be deliverable and will disintegrate rapidly underwater. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:33, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Coat of Arms[edit]

For god's sake, can anyone upload a bit more hi-res picture of Vanuatu's coat of arms? This one is too blurry. --FlavrSavr 01:14, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Deletion of Trivia Section[edit]

Do others think it's appropriate for this page to have a trivia section at all? Further, is it appropriate for the only entry to be on Survivor: Vanuatu? I don't think it's appropriate to characterise a country by one season of a TV show that was filmed there. Your thoughts? Ben Harris-Roxas 13:23, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

  • Trivia is trivial, it really shouldn't be there.--Peta 01:48, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
    • So take it out.--Cúchullain t/c 02:04, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
      • I[1] think it's ok: other information has been added
        • In a real sense, it's trivial -- but if the rest of the world, which knows nothing about Vanuatu, whenever they think about Vanuatu, they think "Survivor - TV episode", then it probably belongs somewhere in the article, unfortunately, but I don't know whether it belongs in a trivia section or somewhere in the article. We live in a media age, and this is a big part of how people think, unfortunately. Tomwsulcer (talk) 01:29, 27 July 2009 (UTC)tomwsulcer

SANTO 2006 expedition, Vanuatu[edit]

More than 100 participants from 15 countries are currently documenting the fauna and flora of a large rugged island in the South Pacific-- Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu (see Because of Santo's isolated location, it has been been largely unexplored and maintains a very high level of biodiversity. Scientists expect to find many new species of flora and fauna. Follow the journey of exploration and discovery of the marine component of the expedition at the SANTO 2006 blog: [2] . Already 875 species of decapod crustaceans have been recorded within the first three weeks.

Proposed WikiProject[edit]

In my ongoing efforts to try to include every country on the planet included in the scope of a WikiProject, I have proposed a new project on Melanesia at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals#Melanesia whose scope would include Vanuatu. Any interested parties are more than welcome to add their names there, so we can see if there is enough interest to start such a project. Thank you for your attention. Badbilltucker 17:16, 20 December 2006 (UTC)


Is it true that there are many spiders and of various types? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC). I think you're in the wrong place to talk about spidersDoggie015 03:01, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Assuming you're talking about the supposed lack of spiders in Vanuatu, the answer is yes, there are certainly spiders there. If you are interested in some of the big ones, you might want to check "The systematics and biology of the spider genus Nephila (Araneae: Nephilidae) in the Australasian region" 2007, by M. S. Harvey and others, "Invertebrate Systematics" 21(5). Tim Ross (talk) 12:38, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

They are definitely present ranging in size of from almost too small to see to literally the size of a human hand. Toeverycreature (talk) 19:17, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Legal system[edit]

The legal system is based on British common law.

I thought that they used a mix of British common law (for English speakers) and French civil law (for French speakers)? I was told that one of the consequences is that they're looking for a digitized version of a 1980 French Civil Code and other codes, because the printed versions they use are in bad shape... David.Monniaux 19:14, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't it be "English Common Law" rather than British? There is a contradiction between the entries on Vanuatu and the New Hebrides in this respect. 10:47, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I read an article recently about the use of British and French law in contemporary Vanuatu, but now I can't find it... Anyway, the author was saying that most ni-Vanuatu judges are knowledgeable only in British law, which severely limits the scope for applying French law. Theoretically, though, yes, French civil law is part of the ni-Vanuatu legal system, on an equal basis with British common law. Aridd (talk) 11:24, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

As Britain consists of several jurisdictions from a legal perspective it is better to refer to English Common Law although the Constitution refers to at 95(2) to "Until otherwise provided by Parliament, the British and French laws in force or applied in Vanuatu immediately before the Day of Independence shall on and after that day continue ....." I think this is more a description ie it was a British colony and therefore the laws applied would be viewed as British but it is likely any common law involved would have been English. It is possibly to narrow to refer to Common Law as undoubtedly other law from Britain applied. This seems to have been confirmed on this site where it states:

(i) British Laws:

British laws applied to British nationals and the nationals of other countries who opted to be subject to British laws, called optants. These laws comprised:

British Acts of Parliament and subsidiary legislation - which were stated to apply to overseas territories; British Acts of Parliament of "general application" - i.e.: whose terms were not confined to England, except to the extent that they were inappropriate to the circumstances of the country. Statutes of general application passed after 1 January 1976 did not apply; English rules of common law and equity - which applied except to the extent that they were inappropriate to the circumstances of the country; Queen's Regulations - made by the British High Commissioner of the Western Pacific (situated initially in Fiji and later in Solomon Islands) and by the British Resident Commissioner in the New Hebrides. (talk) 12:34, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Naghol ceremony[edit]

Can anybody add info on the Naghol ceremony, where the locals do a sort of Bungee jumping? Many thanks -- Chris 73 | Talk 08:11, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Prince Philip (Duke of Edinburgh) a God?[edit]

I've read it in news articles before, although they were only passing references, but now the BBC has a full article on the reverence with which Prince Philip is held by some of Vanuatu's population (on the island of Tanna, the village of Yaohnanen). These villagers see Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh as a Divine spirit, associated with an ancient story about the son of a mountain spirit venturing across the seas to look for a powerful woman to marry (the belief bolstered perhaps as Prince Philip married Queen Elizabeth, Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms). This seems rather notable, especially considering the coverage it is receiving in the British press because of the celebrations planned by the Vanuatan's to mark Prince Philip's 86th birthday on the 10/6/07. Anyone have any major objections to this being mention in the article? If no convincing arguments are made I'll look towards adding it over the next few days.

BBC Article can be found here -

Google for "Prince Philip Vanuatu" (lists several British newspaper articles on the subject) -

Malbolge 02:08, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

We have an article on that at Prince Philip Movement.--Cúchullain t/c 05:20, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Don't worry about CO2![edit]

A paragraph about what the global climate change may bring for Vanuatu could be a nice addition to the article. 22:06, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Vanuatu#Europeans on the scene[edit]

This statement: Due to diseases introduced by the new European populations, the native population fell to a mere 45,000 in 1935. is useless without a reference as to what the population was before. It probably needs a citation too. --SVTCobra 22:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Vanuatu Scouting[edit]

Can someone render "Be Prepared", the Scout Motto, into Bislama? Thanks! Chris 07:00, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

How about i rere, or maybe just rere? Actually I think I'd choose rere, but there must be someone reading this who is better at the language. Tim Ross (talk) 18:29, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Tjuban mask ceremony: Orangutans???[edit]

The series "Tribal life" on the Travel Channel gives a fascinating view of remotest Vanuatu, including a ceremony in which the men dress up in an elaborate costume that covers them with reddish-orange foliage, and wear elaborate elongated wooden masks. The form of the masks and the appearance of orange hair reminds me greatly of orangutans, which is intriguing because as far as I know orangutans are unknown to Vanuatu in known history. One part of the ritual is for men wearing the masks to run toward women at the beach and steal the fish they've caught. I wonder whether orangutans lived on the island long ago or if the custom was brought with people who travelled from the west. There's very little if anything of use about Tjuban masks on the Web, so anyone with good sources handy should be encouraged to contribute whatever they can. Wnt (talk) 23:13, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

In answer to your question about whether orangutans ever lived in Vanuatu, there are no records or fossils indicating that they were ever there. Tim Ross (talk) 23:57, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

The map[edit]

I really don't find the map in the side box shows where Vanuatu is very well. Perhaps an image of where it is compared to Australia, in more detail? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xaerun (talkcontribs) 11:41, 28 July 2008 (UTC)


so is it 'van-wah-too' or 'van-oo-ah-too' ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Update: you can click on the symbol next to the word "Vanuatu" (a speech symbol) and you can hear somebody saying it correctly -- I think it's van-yoo-ah-too, four syllables. Tomwsulcer (talk) 01:25, 27 July 2009 (UTC)tomwsulcer

On Espiritu Santo, it is commonly pronounced as ",'a.tu" some will change the initial "a" to the same sound as in the English word "van" but that is only common amongst English speakers. I think that the alternation between three or four syllables comes from speakers speaking the name very quickly, but if you asked them to say it slowly, they probably would say it with four syllables. Toeverycreature (talk) 19:16, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Drive on left or right?[edit]

Does Vanuatu traffic keep left or right? The Right-_and_left-hand_traffic#Places_with_right-hand_traffic article says right, but the accompanying map says left. Please correct the article if need be, and add a "|drives_on = right/left" line to the country info box in this article. kwami (talk) 07:51, 23 November 2008 (UTC) it is the same as america, you keep left. unlike australia which keeps right. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:23, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Vanuatu drives on the RIGHT, the same as the US. Australia drives on the LEFT. Toeverycreature (talk) 19:12, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

poisonous creatures and tropical diseases[edit]

I have just deleted two statements which were taken almost directly from the Peace Corps Vanuatu book, as cited: "There are almost no poisonous insects or reptiles on land or in the sea. Many of the serious tropical diseases present in other parts of the world are absent or are controlled in Vanuatu." I'm not replacing the language with a more accurate statement, because, at this time, all I could offer is personal knowledge. Nonetheless, Vanuatu has its share of poisonous creatures, including several species of highly poisonous sea snakes, stone fish, poisonous jellyfish and their kin, cone shells, and others. I'm not sure which "absent" tropical diseases are being referenced by the Peace Corps, but many are present, and such diseases are a matter of concern in the country. If I can find good references to support my personal knowledge, I will replace the deleted material with a more realistic statement. In the meantime, I believe the removed statements are too dangerously misleading to leave in place. Tim Ross (talk) 17:52, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

While there for three months, I was told by the natives that sea snakes are common there and that if they bite you, you will not have time to reach a doctor before you die; however, their mouths are not large enough to bite a human, except for maybe in the webbing between one's fingers or toes. As far as diseases, malaria and dengue fever are very present. Toeverycreature (talk) 19:11, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Map of Vanuatu in the world[edit]

About the map of Vanuatu -- showing it's place in the world -- I found it's confusing. There are too many boxes-in-boxes. I think all it's needed is a map showing Australia, with an arrow pointing to that part of the south Pacific ocean which is northeast of Australia -- where Vanuatu is. Tomwsulcer (talk) 01:24, 27 July 2009 (UTC)tomwsulcer

You might want to consider using this one. It's not too good, but is easier to read. Tim Ross (talk) 10:33, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
File:Casta New hebrides-small.jpg
Thanks, Tim, I looked at the maps, and found one I could revise showing Australia in relation to Vanuatu, and changed colors, and added labels to emphasize Vanuatu in relation to Australia, hopefully better than the old map, but wondering what others think. Tomwsulcer (talk) 12:47, 4 September 2009 (UTC)Tomwsulcer
The new one looks just right. Better than either the old one or my alternative. Tim Ross (talk) 13:27, 4 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Tim. I tried a similar thing with Allegheny College, revising a map of Pennsylvania, but put too much purple for one of the counties I think. I'm somewhat artistically challenged I think. What's really cool about this article is that clicking on the thingie next to Vanuatu makes it pronounce "Van-oo-AH-too". I favor WP becoming more interactive -- click on this, stuff happens, moving graphics, automatic currency converters -- sooner or later this stuff is coming, and WP will be even cooler!--Tomwsulcer (talk) 15:48, 4 September 2009 (UTC)


See Talk:Vanuatu/Archive_1 for this lengthy discussion. Tim Ross (talk) 16:00, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

"In God we stand" is the form generally used in Vanuatu, and I have restored this. It's not Wikipedia's place to rewrite other countries mottos. -- (talk) 05:10, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Flora and Fauna[edit]

I have just edited this newly added section. No source is provided for the information, although it may be from the Peace Corps. In any case, whatever the source, the information is not entirely accurate, and the statement that Vanuatu has no poisonous snakes is dangerously incorrect. Deadly poisonous sea snakes are not at all uncommon near-shore. Many species of spiders live on the islands. Tim Ross (talk) 09:57, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I have also deleted the parenthetical statement, that the local wild pigs and fowl "appear to be indigenous". Current science indicates otherwise. [3] [4] Tim Ross (talk) 11:03, 28 October 2009 (UTC)


Origin of Name[edit]

Does anyone know the history or the meaning of the name Vanuatu? (Is vanua land?) Koro Neil (talk) 11:12, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

I've heard that it means "our land", but I don't know if that is true or even what language that is. I, too, would be interested in knowing more about this issue. Tim Ross (talk) 19:12, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


There are currently two subsections of "History" on 2009 earthquakes and 2010 earthquakes. This appears to be an example of recentism. There is an article 2009 Vanuatu earthquakes but no equivalent article of 2010. I suggest these subsections do not belong in this article at all, but that a paragraph be added to "Geography" about earthquake vulnerability in the country, written from a long-term perspective. The existing content can be merged into the 2009 article and a 2010 article created. These can be linked to from the geography section.

I have no particular expertise in this area, so I'd welcome someone else having a go at writing the paragraph for the geography section.-gadfium 19:13, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Alternatively, the existing content (now in the Geography section) can be split off into Earthquakes in Vanuatu. There's still a need for a long-term overview.-gadfium 03:38, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I would support that. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 05:38, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Flag of Convenience[edit]

The listed source does not state or imply that "Vanuatu is recognized as one of the largest and most notorious" flag of convenience countries. Find another source or remove it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:54, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Also, it does not make Flag_of_convenience's list of the top 11 FOC states, and receives only a passing mention. (talk) 17:07, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree with; I don't know much about the subject, but the cited reference certainly doesn't support the claim. I will edit the statement to a more neutral remark that Vanuatu is a nation known to offer a "Flag of Convenience" to merchant ships. El piel (talk) 20:42, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Removed awkard part of a sentance[edit]

I removed " a name that lasted until independence" from History section. It was getting on the way of continuity. --George Spurlin (talk) 07:30, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree with George Spurlin. It doesn't seem to add much. CMD (talk) 09:19, 9 April 2012 (UTC)


In the second paragraph in "Demographics", there is a sentence that begins,

"The inhabitants of Vanuatu, known in English as Ni-Vanuatu,...."

I don't understand how "Ni-Vanuatu" is an English demonym. Even reading the article in the link, it is clear that it is not an English word. What are residents (or citizens) of Vanuatu known in the Vanuatan language? If the two words are different, then this sentence should read, "The inhabitants of Vanuatu, called by English speakers "Ni-Vanuatu",...", but even then, a word or phrase should be added to indicate that it is a Vanuatan word, or name (even if a new construct), or whatever it is.CorinneSD (talk) 22:01, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

I see a good recent edit to the article made to clarify "Ni-Vanuatu" and an even better edit to the short article "Ni-Vanuatu". I just wonder, regarding the edit to this article, why use "designated" instead of "called"? What's wrong with the clearer, simpler, more common, and more accurate (since it is speech) "called"? "....called by English and French speakers Ni-Vanuatu". "Designated" is vague and academic-sounding.CorinneSD (talk) 00:11, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I fixed this. Is it wrong to sound academic? :-) Womtelo (talk) 00:33, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, I meant overly, or unnecessarily, academic so that it sounds stuffy, or pedantic. I think the language in WP should be straightforward. I'm glad you made the edit, but I don't think the word "people" is necessary after "Ni-Vanuatu".CorinneSD (talk) 02:24, 30 October 2013 (UTC)


The decision to move languages to the Culture (now Culture and society) section was a good one, and the added reference regarding the vernacular languages is good, too. I still have a question about the following sentence:

"All of these indigenous languages belong to the Oceanic branch of the Austronesian family."

There is some ambiguity here. Because the word "indigenous" is not the same word as "vernacular", it is not completely clear whether "All of these indigenous languages" includes, or does not include, Bislama.

  • If it does not, then I suggest using "vernacular" instead of "indigenous": "All of these vernacular languages belong to the..." (or changing the first use of "vernacular" in "113 vernacular languages" to "indigenous").
  • If it does, I suggest: "All of these indigenous languages, including Bislama, belong to the...".CorinneSD (talk) 02:45, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Exports tree map[edit]

The Exports Tree Map, showing predominantly fishing exports, contradicts the text. Suggest this be fixed or clarified. Bellagio99 (talk) 14:35, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Cyclone Pam[edit]

Can anyone see any reason why there should not be a "Tropical storm" (or alternate name) section heading about Cyclone Pam with a hatnote linking to Cyclone Pam#Effects in Vanuatu? Most of the effects of the cyclone should likely remain on that page, with major details here. 220 of Borg 05:06, 18 March 2015 (UTC)