Race relations in Pacific Islands???

Old Dec 25th, 2015, 06:15 PM
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Race relations in Pacific Islands???

Hello all!
I'm a young African-American woman looking to volunteer soon in either Samoa, Fiji or Tonga this upcoming Spring. This may seem like a stereotypical ethnic question but I was wondering if anyone had experiences out in the pacific islands with race relations or could give me a general idea of how native Pacific Islanders treat AAs. I would love to volunteer out there but I would hate for it to turn into bad experience due to a racial tension or issues!
Serious & honest answers only please!
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Old Dec 25th, 2015, 08:17 PM
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I cant really answer from knowledge of the topic but I would doubt whether you would look any different from many Fijians eg
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Old Dec 26th, 2015, 11:16 AM
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An honest answer is that I have no idea at all. Can you look for reviews from other people on the volunteer website? If there are problems it is often the individuals themselves regardless of race.
I have looked into volunteering myself in Fiji (particularly a school) and my impression is that any help, time or effort spent would be appreciated.
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Old Dec 26th, 2015, 11:28 AM
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I did a bit of research earlier on each location and was only able to find volunteer interactions between Caucasian and Asians amongst Fijians, Samoans and Tongans, which is why I created the topic. I was hoping someone would have experience or would know for sure but I'm starting to figure out not many AAs travel to the Pacific islands :/
I've done work in Caribbean nations and Central America, enough to know that although we may have looked the same, my actual background brought a bit of hostility and/or questioning. So I was wondering if that was anything I would have to arrive prepared to deal with...
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Old Dec 26th, 2015, 11:58 AM
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Was the hostility because you were American, or African American? In the Middle East I was received with much more enthusiasm when I said I was English than when I said I was American (I'm a dual national.) And would questioning necessarily be hostile?
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Old Dec 26th, 2015, 12:45 PM
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^That's a really good observation. It could've have been entirely because of how people are perceived as Americans...
And I viewed questioning as hostile b/c in my opinion, they were questions that came with insults...like the kind of questions that catch you off guard b/c you weren't expecting them to be so rude or "loaded". But as you(thursdaysd) said, it could've been driven by my nationality...
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Old Dec 26th, 2015, 03:58 PM
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Some people are more inquisitive and direct than others.

That can be a cultural or an individual thing. I remember my fist trip to Bali and actually now i think about it, to Fiji also, being peppered with questions like
"Where are you from; where are you staying; where is your husband; ( surprise that a solo female would be travelling in her own); how many children do you have; how long are you staying ....?"

I thought they were highly intrusive questions ... But soon realised it's just the custom and their way of "placing" someone.

These days I just tell them my 4 husbands are home looking after our 23 kids & 55 grandkids & we all have a huge laugh
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Old Dec 26th, 2015, 04:32 PM
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Haha! Yea, I too travel alone and have noticed that a lot of questions aren't as out of bounds as they are in America! But I will definitely start using the '4 husbands and 23 kids' idea though!
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