Relationships, Marriage, & Family Life in the Solomon Islands
Dating in Solomon Islands is closely watched as
girls are expected to be virgins on their wedding nights. Today this is still true,
but restrictions have been lifted on most accounts (for example girls engaged to
wed are no longer kept in cages or huts to maintain their purity). Despite the lift
on many restrictions dating is still often overseen by a chaperone and couples typically
do not marry without permission of their families; in some rare instances arranged
marriage is still practiced.
Wedding ceremonies come in many forms in Solomon Islands,
including church weddings, court weddings, and weddings in other settings. With
the marriage the groom's family often pays the bride's family to compensate
for the loss of a family member.
Once married, the couple becomes adult members of the community and as such are
expected to work with the community in numerous ways. This often means food and
money is shared and exchanges hands somewhat freely as people need it.