The Wedding

The Palauan people are fiercely proud of their South Pacific heritage. As with all small island inhabitants they rightfully consider their unique space on the planet to be special. In their view they are related to, but distinctly different than, their other Polynesian brothers. Islanders around the world are generally friendly. They embrace visitors and are anxious to show off the idiosyncrasies of their culture. Paluans are no different. I was delighted when the hotel operator told me there was a wedding on the island and that traditional all islanders were invited to weddings and I too would be welcome to join. I wandered around the shore line along neatly constructed concrete pathways winding through beach side parks.The wedding was in a house on the side of a mountain. “follow the trail” the hotel operator had said. Up I went sweating in the humidity but shaded by high shrubs and bushes. I heard music, climbed over an aging fence and entered the back yard of the house. A cooking grill spilled out smoke and the aroma of sizzling meat. “Hello”, another large tatted man said and I joined the party.

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