Vanuatu dating by name vu

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Objects selected to represent the nation come principally from those regions, including circle pig tusks, palm leaves, and carved slit gongs.

The name of the national currency, the vatu ("stone") derives from central northern languages, as does the name "Vanuatu." After independence, holidays were established to celebrate the nation and promote national identity and unity. The New Hebrides was a unique "condominium" colony ruled jointly by Great Britain and France after 1906.

The mostly volcanic archipelago extends 560 miles (900 kilometers) from north to south and has an area of 5,700 square miles (14,760 square kilometers). Port Vila, the capital, which was also the colonial headquarters, is on the south-central island of Efate. The 1997 population of 185,000 is 94 percent Melanesian, 4 percent European (mostly French), and 4 percent other (Vietnamese, Chinese, and other Pacific Islander). Bislama, the nation's pidgin English which emerged in the nineteenth century, is essential for public discourse.

Many aspects of the national culture are phrased in Bislama, which has become an important marker of national identity.

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Some of the people follow matrilineal descent rules, while others follow patrilineal rules.

Still, all the citizens distinguish themselves from European colonialists as they assume their national identity.

Since independence, the French have provided aid in periods when the country has been ruled by Francophone political parties.

Political leaders have consciously cultivated national culture to foster a national identity, including political slogans such as "Unity in Diversity." Many rural people, however, are attached primarily to their home islands, while educated urbanites, refer to supranational identities such as Melanesian. Vanuatu is a Y-shaped tropical archipelago of over eighty islands, sixty-five of which are inhabited.

The Solomon Islands lie to the north, New Caledonia to the south, Fiji to the east, and the Coral Sea and Australia to the west.

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