Faith, Culture and Democracy in Truk

Reflection Weekend Truk, April 30 -May 1, 1988 Democracy presents a problem for Trukese, as for other Micronesians, since the notion seems to be so much at odds with the traditional culture. The word "democracy" is associated with free elections, a participatory style of government, rule by the people, freedom and rights. The concept was […]

Palauan Custom

Reflection Weekend Koror, Palau November 22-23, 1986 The topic of the Reflection Weekend in Palau, as suggested by many of the people themselves, was Palauan custom (siukang). People often refer to "custom" as a matter of concern, although feelings towards it seem to be ambivalent. On the one hand, it is something closely identified with […]

Freedom of Information: Who Has a Right to What?

A Cultural Issue Freedom of information has been a touchy issue in the recent past. Even more so freedom of the press. Americans and others from Western societies put a high value on the right of access to public information and the right of the press to transmit this information to others in an open […]

Domestic Violence in Micronesia

What Is Domestic Violence and How Big a Problem Is It? Two cases of wife beating resulting in death have highlighted the problem recently in the FSM. It is a much talked about problem, something taken up by women's groups in the FSM in the wake of worldwide concern, but no one seems to have […]

Where Do Traditional Leaders Fit in Today’s Society?

Introduction In the days before colonial rule, the chiefs enjoyed uncontested authority over the people. Traditional political systems may have differed from one island to the next, chiefs may have been challenged by contenders for their titles at times and quarrels arisen over jurisdiction, but the system itself stood intact and inviolate. That has changed […]

Women’s Role in Micronesia: Then and Now

Women's Traditional Roles The topic addressed in this discussion was on women's roles, not women's rights. Mention of this brought a murmur of disapproval through the conference hall, but the moderator explained that he felt it was important to address the issue through concepts that could be as relevant to the past as to the […]