Have you heard of the word Tuvalu ?
It means ‘group of eight’ and interestingly is name of one of the remotest and world’ fourth smallest nation. It is an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, just south of the equator between Fiji and the Gilbert Islands (Kiribati). Its name (Tuvalu meaning group of eight) refers to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands but in actual it has nine islands, the last one got inhabited in 1949. Tuvalu was first sighted by Europe in 1568. Tuvalu got independence on October 1, 1978 from British regime. It has population of approximately 11,000 people which also has got doubled after 1980’s.
Tuvalu is low lying country and is inhabited by Tuvaluans. Tuvaluans are basically Polynesian. Culturally Tuvalu has traditional community system wherein each family has its own task, or salanga, to perform for the community, such as fishing, house building or defence. The same skills of a family are passed on from father to son. The tuvaluan language is a major language which is spoken there. Though English is also an official language, but is not spoken in daily use. Climatically Tuvalu is tropical but the lands there have poor soil which does not support much agriculture. It almost has no potable water. The country has no known mineral resources. Subsistence farming and fishing (including exports) are the primary economic activities. It also depends on foreign aid. About a thousand tourists, on average, visit Tuvalu annually. Like .com, .in it too has an internet domain name ‘.tv’. Their official currency is Tuvaluan dollar which is coupled with Australian dollar.
As Tuvalu is low lying and is particularly vulnerable to any rise in the sea level from future climate change. In mid-February 2004, unusually high tides caused seepage that transformed much of the interior into a salty lake, harming root crops. This is a major issue, which threaten the country's underground water table and its existence. Increase in population, global green house gas emissions etc. are impacting the environment and their worry too as it impacts their existence.
I had read about 'Tuvalau' and compiled this piece on this interesting nation, thought share with you all on this vibrant blog - anil gulati