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vanuatu

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Land-diving on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Lying a few hours off the coast of Australia in the South Pacific the island nation of Vanuatu has been voted one of the happiest places in the world to live! Although it has been ravaged by competing missionaries fighting to bring their religion to the islands, there are many people who have opted to lead a traditional kastem (custom) was of life, eschewing 21st century Western life and sticking to their traditional ways.

Vanuatu is most well known for the naghol, or land-diving on the remote island of Pentecost, where in a unique rite of passage which is the fore-runner of modern bungy-jumping, males throw themselves from high towers with only vines tied to their ankles to break their fall. Famously, when the Queen of the United Kingdom visited the islands, this land-diving was held out of season when the vines were dry, and one of the divers broke his neck and died.

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