Life in Kanak society revolves around significant milestones and social activities that punctuate daily existence. These so-called “customary” gestures involve the presentation of gifts such as mats, coins, cloth, or other items, accompanied by a speech. These gestures signify the acknowledgment of life’s rules and fundamental values in Kanak and Caledonian society: hospitality, respect, and humility.
While customs vary, common elements include taro and yam, pandanus leaf mats, and Kanak currency. When meeting your Kanak host, the custom becomes a unique and cherished moment where two worlds converge. It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself, explain your purpose, and express gratitude for their hospitality.