French Polynesia Local Customs

  • Fire Show
    Fire Show
    by Jim_Eliason
  • Local Customs
    by malianrob
  • Local Customs
    by malianrob

French Polynesia Local Customs

  • Cemetary

    Bora-Bora Local Customs

    Touring the island, I saw a couple of churches but I was wondering where the deceased were, because I never saw a cemetary. Later, I found out that the deceased are buried at home. Very often you can see a little house or concrete block in the front yard of the house. This is a family grave.

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  • Hinano beer

    I don't drink beer, folks, but Hinano was a lunch staple of my brother's. I took a picture of the vahine (pretty island girl for those from Roxboro) logo on the bottle. I was surprised this little bitty island had its own beer, but Hinano had been brewed there for more than 35 years before I came. Everywhere on the island they serve it in glasses...

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  • Maeva !

    The reputation of Tahiti and the Polynesian islands is unbeatable in terms of hospitality !We experienced it in each of the 3 islands we visited.First of all, you receive a tiaré flower on the moment you step into the plane.Then a local band of musicians playing the ukulele is waiting for you at the airport, whatever time you land !Your tour...

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  • Heiva

    The Heiva is a traditional festival held in July in every island of French Polynesia. This huge event is a celebration of Polynesian culture through various contests and historical reenactments. Each town or district sends its team of traditional dancers and singers dressed in traditional Tahitian costumes to take part in the dance and song...

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  • flowers behind ears

    everybody wears flowers behind the ears one side means your married the other means your single ! very usefull , but i could ever remember which side was which !these flowers tiare or frangipani make the islands smell lovly,and another tradition that comes from this is monoi oil !tahitians use it all the time especially the women !its fab for...

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  • The Polynesians invented tattooing

    The Polynesians invented tattooing - the process of 'hammering' ink under the skin to leave pictures or artistic designs.It is very common for Polynesians to have tattoos, and they do not have any stigma associated with them like they do in some places in the West.If you want a Polynesian tattoo, it is very easy to get one done with several places...

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  • A flower behind the ear - Are you...

    Polynesians love flowers, and both genders like wearing them. If you are visiting Polynesia, it is well worth being aware of the meaning of a flower tucked behind somebodies ear.If you wear a flower behind your left ear, it means you are taken. If on the other hand you wear a flower behind your right ear, it means you are available to the opposite...

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  • Population

    The majority of the people living in French Polynesia are the Maohi people, commonly referred to as Tahitians.Next to the Tahitians, there are, of course, a lot of French people who came from France to work or live on the islands.The "Demi" are the mixed blood.The official language is French, but most people speak "Reo Maohi" among themselves.

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  • Tahiti Beach Press

    Tahiti Beach Press is a magazine in English that is published monthly and distributed to visitors through the hotels. It gives some good tips and what there is to do on the different islands and, of course, the necessary ads for local restaurants, guesthouses, hotels and shops.

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  • PK

    PK = poste kilometre, the number of kilometers from the mairie (town hall) or post office.When you are driving around the islands you will see the kilometer markers on the mountainside of the road. The markers are usually red-capped whited painted stone or concrete markers with the kilometer number painted in black on two sides. Many places use the...

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  • French Pacific Franc (CFP)

    The money in French Polynesia are colourful notes of 500, 1000, 5000 and 10000 francs and coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 francs.The CFP has been anchored to the euro since 1999. 1euro = 119,33 CFPIf you change your dollars or euros at the bank for CFP, you will be charged about 500 CFP per transaction.Most banks have an ATM, which is called...

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  • Climate

    The average temperature is 26.5°C (79.9°F) and rarely goes above 32°C (89.6°F). The prevailing winds are the easterly trade winds. In Winter (June to September) the Maraamu is a cool wind which blows from the southeast. The rainy season extends variably from December to April (alternating sunny and rainy spells).

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  • Tupa

    Tupa is a land crab that lives in holes in the ground close to the lagoon . They look creepy and fearsome but as soon as you come too close they disappear into their holes.

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  • Chickens everywhere

    When staying on the islands, you will notice a lot of chickens and roosters everywhere, and the roosters have the bad habit of crowing all day and night. I've heard of many tourists who couldn't sleep because of the roosters. But why are there so many?There are no dangerous snakes or spiders on the islands. The only fearsome animal is the...

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  • Welcome

    Tahitians have the custom to give a beautiful lei of Tiare flower as a welcome. The sweet scent of this white flower is really overwhelming but wonderful.When you leave the island, you will receive a necklace of shells. This is the sign of the traveler.

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  • The magical Ti-plant

    This small tree is a sacred plant. Tahitians believe it possesses mystical and magical qualities that will protect the house from fire. Wherever you will see this plants around a house, you will know that there is a Tahitian family living in the house.Even today, dancers, high priests and firewalkers still wear the green leaves of this tree for...

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  • Economy

    The islands live of its agriculture: coprah, pineapples, vanilla, citrus fruits, a little livestock farming, fishing and tourism.

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  • Wear a Tiare flower

    When you wear your flower behind your right ear, it means you are single, available and looking.When you wear your flower behind your left ear, it means you are married, engaged or otherwise taken.When you wear flowers behind both ears, it means you are married but are still available.When you wear your flower backward behind your ear, it means...

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  • Price haggling

    Bargaining or price haggling is not a custom, but it is widely practiced in the black pearl industry. So, don't hesitate to ask for a discount when you are negociating the purchase of a black pearl.

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  • TATTOO

    Tattoo is one of the most expressive form of the Polynesian culture. Today, many Polynesians have revived this ancestral form of artistic body decorations and are wearing them as symbols of their identities.Tattoo used to be an association with a community and as an initiation rite. Then, it became a representation of social status and used as an...

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  • PAREU DRESS

    The typical dress of the Polynesian is the loose and comfortable full-length, rather shapeless dress, printed with hibiscus and uru leaves in various bright colours and trimmed with lace. Naturally, there are many styles and the svelte Polynesian beauties have more well-cut versions.The material is also used in all sorts of attire, from shirts for...

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  • THAT LITTLE FLOWER BEHIND THE EAR

    Flowers are very important to the Polynesian culture. Little jasmine buds are presented to tourists upon arrival at the airport. Naturally, the 5-star hotels present a more upmarket version - a garland of flowers for their tourists’ necks or a tiara of flowers on their heads. Even the huge, hefty Polynesian customs officer stamping your passport...

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  • IN A LOT OF PARTS OF PAPEETE...

    IN A LOT OF PARTS OF PAPEETE FAMILIES STILL BRING UP THEIR CHILDREN IN THE TRADITIONAL WAY, IF THE FIRST BORN IS A BOY IT IS BROUGHT UP AS A WOMAN TILL THE AGE OF 16 THEN HAS THE CHOICE OF WHAT SEX TO BE, A LOT OPT FOR THE SEX CHANGE OR SOME STAY AS TVs, BUT THEY ARE ALL VERY GOOD LOOKING, SO IF YOU DO END UP PULLING, TRY AND CHECK,ASAP.Pic: View...

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  • hey hey... give a little kiss...

    hey hey... give a little kiss on the cheeks to your friends who haven't seen you ages... that's what we do... say Iaorana (sounds japanese? lol)and most importantly... know how to shake your ass (specially ladies..) and gentlemen, move your legs... :)

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  • Ia Orana and Bonjour are Hello...

    Ia Orana and Bonjour are Hello in Tahitian and French.Maururu/Merci is Thank You.If you wear a flower behind your right ear, you're single. Behind your left ear means married!

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  • Tipping isnt done here, what...

    Tipping isnt done here, what you see is what you pay. but a nice idea is to take things like t-shirts and baseball caps from your own county as gifts to those who have been really helpful.

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  • Even though it is a French...

    Even though it is a French country, most English speaking people should not find it too difficult to get around. In the major tourist areas everyone speaks some English and in the outskirts the people are fabulously friendly!!

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  • Warning: Do not expect what...

    Warning: Do not expect what do you want from them! Polynesian people do not care about your personal concern and they care about your money. When you ask something for them to help, you have to pay the high price to them then they usually will help you out. Polynesian people already have TV, VCR, mobile phones, cars, and everything then why ask us...

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  • Take along a French phrase...

    Take along a French phrase book. The natives speak French, altho most hotels have staff that speaks English. If you want the real experience, tuck away a few French phrases. Also, as it is a French island, going topless on the beach or on your patio is OK. Viva la France!

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  • French Polynesians do not try...

    French Polynesians do not try to push you into buying anything. It is therefore an absolute pleasure to go shopping. Bring back a black (or green)pearl!When you are in Tahiti in July, get tickets to one of the dance competitions in the water front theater in Papeete.

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  • Remember, hospitality is part...

    Remember, hospitality is part of the Polynesian culture. DO NOT INSULT SOMEONE BY TIPPING! It's really tempting to try to tip someone for excellent service, but remember it's a different culture. It goes a long way to learn a couple of Tahitian phrases WELL (even if you learn them there). They are proud of their culture and expressed real interest...

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  • The residents of Tahiti are a...

    The residents of Tahiti are a mix of natives, French, Indians, and Chinese. The major languages spoken are French and Tahitian. People here are very friendly and warm. Their social behaviour and practises are very European. However, only the priviledged few get to be carried around by a native....just kidding! :)

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  • Women and men both wear...

    Women and men both wear flowers behind their ears- left ear if you are taken and right ear if you are available.Tipping is frowned upon (hallelujah!)The juice of the noni fruit is used for bug bites-it worked!

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French Polynesia Hotels

Top French Polynesia Hotels

Bora-Bora Hotels
291 Reviews - 587 Photos
Moorea Hotels
315 Reviews - 660 Photos
Tahiti Hotels
220 Reviews - 536 Photos
Papeete Hotels
51 Reviews - 144 Photos
Raiatea Hotels
66 Reviews - 190 Photos
Vaitape Hotels
3 Hotels
Teahupoo Hotels
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Punaauia Hotels
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Motu Piti Aau Hotels
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Patio Hotels
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Papetoai Hotels
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Nuku Hiva Hotels
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Maupiti Hotels
38 Reviews - 70 Photos
Huahine Hotels
16 Reviews - 41 Photos
Hiva Oa Hotels
2 Reviews - 5 Photos

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French Polynesia Local Customs

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