Experiencing the Vibrant and Rich Culture of Tahitians

Tahitian women in costume doing a traditional dance.

Posted by on 02 Mar 2023

When you think “Tahiti,” you might picture turquoise waters, overwater bungalows and tons of fun in the sun on a tropical holiday. But this French Polynesian island is more than just picturesque beach views and crystal-clear lagoons.

The best thing about Tahiti is its rich, vibrant culture. The locals in this island paradise are guardians of their culture who strive to preserve their heritage by sharing it with their guests.

Most Tahiti holiday packages will focus on staying at gorgeous five-star resorts or exploring nature on the island. But if you’re more interested in doing what the locals do, here are the activities you don’t want to miss during your stay in beautiful Tahiti.

How to Embrace the Vibrant Tahitian Culture

Learn a Traditional Tahitian Dance

Tahitians are big on music. The fast, upbeat sounds and rhythms made by drums and the exotic “toere” are a part of their everyday life on the island. And the best way to enjoy this enthralling music as a guest is to join in and learn a traditional Tahitian dance.

The locals use dance to express happiness and vitality while telling a story. They’ve been doing it since ancient times, and it’s incredibly integral to their culture, which is why it’s worth witnessing in person when you’re journeying through Tahiti.

You can ask your travel agency to help arrange a dance lesson during your stay in Tahiti to honour this sacred yet captivating part of their culture. An easy one for beginners is the “Tamure” dance.

Eat Some Tahitian Delicacies

Tahiti also boasts rich local cuisine. As an abundant island smack in the middle of the Pacific with fertile land for farming and crystal-clear seas for fishing, you’ll find an abundance of sweet fruit, fresh seafood, and all kinds of vegetables here.

Most of their dishes are unique because they’re Polynesian but with a French twist, so don’t miss out. One of the more popular dishes on the island is the poisson cru, a refreshing ceviche made with raw fish, coconut milk and lime.

You can also check out other popular culinary delights in Tahiti, such as sweet, curry-like chevreffes or fruity po’e pudding.

Learn Their Beautiful Language

Although French is written down as Tahiti’s official language, the natives speak Tahitian in casual conversation. You’ll make a great impression on the locals if you learn basic phrases and words in Tahitian before you come to visit. Showing them respect in this way can help make your connection with the locals and their culture all the more meaningful and authentic.

Here’s a quick Tahitian lesson to get you started. “Hello” in Tahitian is “ia orana” (yo-rah-nah). Make sure you say this when you greet the locals during your visit!

Shop at Le Marché

Nothing quite encapsulates the rich art, food, and clothing Tahiti has to offer as much as Le Marché—the island’s public market that’s been around for over 150 years!

Here, you can see bits and pieces of Tahitian culture, from intricate woodcarvings to eye-catching textiles to exotic jewellery and clothes. Shop around for delicacies like oils, bags and floral arrangements to bring home to friends and family as well.

Get a Tahitian Tattoo

Did you know that the word “tattoo” actually comes from the Tahitian word “tatau?” Tahitians have been inking their skin for centuries to express their unique identities and traits.

Back in ancient Polynesia, young men would adorn themselves with tattoos as a symbol of honour, leadership and courage. Today, the designs are still authentically Tahitian but can be done on anyone.

If you’re looking for a permanent souvenir to remind you of the rich, interesting culture of the Tahitians, a tattoo would be amazing! The French Polynesian islands have an abundance of tattoo artists who would be thrilled to share this trendy yet culturally significant Tahitian art form with you.

Experience Tahitian Culture Firsthand with Our Travel Agency

Whether you’re excited by the delicious seafood French Polynesia has to offer or are more interested in getting inked with an authentic Tahitian tattoo, there are plenty of ways to witness and experience the unique culture of Tahiti.

With the right travel agency, you can plan out an extensive itinerary that will let you experience all these rich cultural activities on your next holiday in Tahiti. Check out what we have to offer to make your Tahitian experience one for the books.

When experience matters