Mazu, also known by several other names and titles, is a Chinese sea goddess hailed from Fujian province in China, and is a faith from putian prefecture, have added Vanuatu as the 43rd region of influence.
On April 2018, Vanuatu’s first ambassador to China, Luo Zhiwei, and five members of the Vanuatu Association of Fujian Provincial People’s Association, including the association chairman Zheng Yupeng, went to Mazu’s hometown of Mazu Temple to pray for Mazu and bring back the culture.
The group had to go through several rituals before they were handed a certificate to take the Mazu faith back to Vanuatu.
At the temple, chairman Zheng Yupeng introduced Vanuatu as an island nation in the South Pacific with currently more than 1,000 Chinese people working in the islands and of these, there are more than 100 people from Putian of Fujian Province.
In Vanuatu, there are Confucius Institutes that represent Chinese culture; but this time, the Fujian Association are bringing Mazu culture to Oceania said to enrich the local Chinese people’s way of communication.
The Vanuatu Fujian Association are well established locally and were involved in numerous donations to the Vila Central Hospital.
Apart from the Fujianese, there is also Shanxi Friendship Association of Vanuatu (SXFAV), another group from China’s Shanxi province, launched in 2016 with aims to promote Vanuatu-China cultural, financial and educational exchange within Vanuatu.
As non-profit organisations in Vanuatu, they exist to support the Embassy of China in Vanuatu and to coordinate events with the Port Vila Chinese club in assisting the different aspects of Vanuatu society.