Despite being considered as one of the smallest country in the World, Tuvalu has so much to offer especially to those who wants to rest and relax. This remote country is very peaceful and offers a non-commercialized environment. Be amazed by its fascinating landscape, natural views and impressive marine treasure. Some of the things that Tuvalu can offer is the splendid lagoons, beautiful small islands and magnificent coral reefs. Known for its distinctive Polynesian culture, Tuvalu maintains the uniqueness in its art and craft works, music, architecture and legends. Truly, Tuvalu is a treasure in the corner of the Pacific.
Important and Interesting Facts about Tuvalu
- Tuvalu is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia.
- Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji.
- Tuvalu consists of three reef islands and six true atolls. Its small, scattered group of atolls have poor soil and a total land area of only about 26 square kilometres (less than 10 sq. mi) making it the fourth smallest country in the world.
- Its small size and population, along with lack of natural resources, makes Tuvalu the smallest economy by GDP.
- Because of the low elevation, the islands that make up this nation are vulnerable to the effects of tropical cyclones and by the threat of current and future sea level rise
- Tuvalu is also affected by perigean spring tide events which raise the sea level higher than a normal high tide.As a result of historical sea level rise, the king tide events lead to flooding of low lying areas, which is compounded when sea levels are further raised by La Niña effects or local storms and waves.
- Funafuti Conservation Area is one of the best places to catch some beautiful natural sights including reefs, channel and a gorgeous lagoon. Thanks to its marine life diversity, it is an excellent spot for snorkeling and scuba diving.
- Nanumea, Tuvalu is the largest island in the island nation of Tuvalu. It lies in the northern most point of Tuvalu. The landscape of Nanumea, Tuvalu covers approximately around 4.6 kilometers of area. It is around 600 meters wide. It lies to the north western side of Funafuti. The small island of Nanumea has played a significant role in the Second World War. It was in fact the bomber base of the allied forces for defending the Pacific.
- Vaitupu, Tuvalu is an important Island in Tuvalu. It has the only secondary school in the country. Vaitupu, Tuvalu is made up of many small islands. Vaitupu in Tuvalu comprises an elongated reef platform. A large central island and a number of smaller islets make Vaitupu. The outer reef is lined by a vast area of coral pavement.
- Nui, Tuvalu is one of the most important islands in Tuvalu. The permanent settlement is on the main islet of Fenuatapu in Nui, Tuvalu. The Nui Island consists of 11 main islets. All the islets are separated by passages. The sea gushes through the passages from ocean to the lagoon. During low tide, people can walk across these passages from islet to islet. A 200 meters wide coral reef links the islets.
Cool and Funny Facts about Tuvalu
- Towards the end of the nineteenth century, scientists visited Tuvalu to explore Charles Darwin’s theory that coral islands, or atolls, were built on the top of submerged volcanoes. Boreholes were made on Funafuti (David’s Drill) but did not reach the volcanic base.
- The tiny island-nation of Tuvalu receives a yearly payment of almost $4 million for doing nothing at all. The reason? The is the money that the Tuvalu government receives from royalties from the country’s domain name, .tv!
- The National Research Council in the United States predicted that by 2100 global sea levels would rise 55 inches due to climate change. If that prediction holds true, the rising sea levels could damage the country’s coral roots and wipe out Tuvalu altogether. By 2012, there was already coastal erosion, a result of the rising sea level, excavation for construction, and extreme weather.
- Tuvaluans are well known for their seafaring skills, with the Tuvalu Maritime Training Institute on Amatuku motu (island), Funafuti, providing training to approximately 120 marine cadets each year so that they have the skills necessary for employment as seafarers on merchant shipping.
- The traditional buildings of Tuvalu used plants and trees from the native broadleaf forest,The buildings were constructed without nails and were lashed and tied together with a plaited sennit rope that was handmade from dried coconut fibre.
- Ano is a localised version of volleyball, in which the two hard balls made from pandanus leaves are volleyed at great speed with the team members trying to stop the Ano hitting the ground.
- Anomaly arosed when Tuvalu managed to field a soccer team that took part in the qualifying competition for the 2010 FIFA World Cup eventhough they were not eligible to play in the competition. Tuvalu became an associate member of FIFA in 2006 but only few members are eligible to enter the World Cup.
- During World War II, the U.S. used the islands as a military base to combat Japanese invasions in the Pacific.
- The name Tuvalu refers to the country’s eight traditionally inhabited islands (eight standing together) although there are nine islands in the country.
- Tuvalu does not have an embassy in the US – the country’s only diplomatic post is in Fiji – Tuvalu does, however, have a UN office located at 800 2nd Avenue, Suite 400D, New York, NY 10017
Historical and Cultural Facts about Tuvalu
- Tuvaluans are a Polynesian people with the origins of the people of Tuvalu addressed in the theories regarding migration into the Pacific that began about 3000 years ago. There is evidence for a dual genetic origin of Pacific Islanders in Asia and Melanesia, which results from an analysis of Y chromosome (NRY) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) markers; there is also evidence that Fiji playing a pivotal role in west-to-east expansion within Polynesia.
- Tuvalu was first sighted by Europeans on 16 January 1568 during the voyage of Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira from Spain who sailed past the island of Nui, and charted it as Isla de Jesús (Spanish for “Island of Jesus”) because it was discovered on the day following the feast of the Holy Name. Mendaña made contact with the islanders but was unable to land.
- The Ellice Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and were annexed by Britain in 1915–1916 as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony.
- The Ellice Islands were separated from the Gilberts in 1975, given home rule, and renamed Tuvalu. Full independence was granted on Sept. 30, 1978, but Tuvalu remained part of the Commonwealth. In 1979, the U.S. gave Tuvalu four islands that had been U.S. territory.
- In 1997, the government adopted a strong stance on the need to control emissions of greenhouse gases in order to ensure the survival of low-lying island nations, which are threatened by rising sea levels.
- The most important cultivated plant is pulaka (swamp taro), grown in large pits dug into the top layer of a freshwater lens, and valued for its resistance to drought and high salinity. Also of importance to the daily diet are coconut palms (used for the collection of kaleve “toddy” as well as for the nuts), pandanus, bananas, and breadfruit. Fish was traditionally the main source of dietary protein.
- The daily activities of the inhabitants of the Outer Islands (all islands other than Funafuti) remain primarily subsistence-oriented. Fishing, agriculture, and animal husbandry occupy most individuals’ days, supplemented by craft production for local consumption (e.g., mat weaving, house building and repairing, boat and motor maintenance, tackle making, fishing, and net mending).
- Across all contexts, everyday interactions between most people emphasize convivial informality, positive politeness, and indirection. Importance is given to being attentive to the presence and needs of others, and on maintaining a jovial demeanor. Children are expected not to impinge on the social space of adult strangers, particularly those of high status. Lower status persons should not cross directly in front of higher status persons, stand above them, or touch their head.
- Each island community celebrates events such as the return of land from traders or the repayment of a communal debt. The only salient government-related national celebration is Independence Day (1 October), celebrated on Funafuti with a state ceremony, the raising of the flag, and a parade of policemen and schoolchildren; and on the Outer Islands with scaled-down versions of these.
- The only production of graphic artistry is the decoration of mats, dancing skirts, and fans with dyed fibers.
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- The major artistic traditions are performance-oriented. Action songs known as faatele reign supreme. Seated vocalists sing the repeated verses of a song faster and faster until they reach a climax and stop abruptly, while standing dancers act out the lyrics. Faatele may involve competition between different sides, be an adjunct to other festivities, or be an end in themselves, and may be composed and choreographed by anyone with the inspiration to do so.