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Vanuatu

Vanuatu: Political System

Vanuatu is a parliamentary republic. The Prime Minister, representing the majority party, rules the country. His cabinet is made up of members of parliament, which consists of 52 members.

Vanuatu: Political System

Parliament is elected every four years and the Prime Minister for five years. There are six parties that are represented in parliament. The political landscape is very changeable. Political alliances of today can turn into enmity tomorrow because, as almost everywhere in the Pacific, the personal advantage or the advantage of the tribes is sought on the political stage. In addition to the parliamentary institutions, there is an influential chief council, which consists of the individual tribal leaders and pays attention to the preservation of traditional customs.

According to Digopaul.com, the official name of the country is:

Republic of Vanuatu

The state is made up of the following six provinces:

Malampa, Penama, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea and Torba

National anthem

Based on flag descriptions by Countryaah.com, the music and the lyrics of the national anthem of Vanuatu are by François Vincent Ayssav (born 1955). The anthem became the country's official anthem in 1980 due to a competition.

Vanuatu flag and coat of arms

In the original text (Bislama) it reads:

Refrain:

Yumi, Yumi, yumi I glad long talem se

Yumi, yumi, yumi ol man blong VanuatuGod i givim ples ya long yumi,

Yumi glat tumas long hem,

Yumi strong mo yumi fri long hem,

Yumi brata evriwan!refrain

Plante fasin blong bifo i stap,

Plante fasin blong tedei,

Be yumi i olsem wan nomo,

Hemia fasin blong yumi!

refrain

Yumi save plante wok i stap,

Long ol aelan blong yumi,

God i helpem yumi evriwan,

Hem i papa blong yumi,

refrain

As well as in English translation

Refrain:

We (, We, We) are happy to proclaim

We (, We, We) are the People of Vanuatu!

God has given us this land;

This gives us great cause for rejoicing.

We are strong, we are free in this land;

We are all brothers.

refrain

We have many traditions

And we are finding new ways.

Now we shall be one person,

We shall be united for ever.

refrain

We know there is much work to be done

On all our islands.

May God, our Father, help us!

refrain

And in the English translation

Refrain:

We, We, We are happy to announce

We, We, We are the people of Vanuatu!

God has given us this land;

That gives us every reason to cheer;

We are strong, we are free in this land;

We are all brothers.

refrain

We have many traditions

and we find new ways.

Now we are one people,

we should stay united forever.

refrain

We know there is still a lot of work to be done

on all of our islands.

May God our Father help us!

refrain

Vanuatu: People you know

The American lieutenant Michener, who was stationed on the island of Ambrym during World War II, wrote the book "Tales of the South Pacific".

Vanuatu: animals

Mammals

Flying foxes, also known as flying foxes, are very common on Vanuatu. These are 6 to 40 cm tall, crepuscular mammals with a dog-like head and large eyes. They have a short tail, which is often completely absent. The fruit bats feed mainly on fruits, although some species are nectar suckers.

The dugongs (manatees) are Vanuatu's largest mammals and the only marine herbivorous mammals in the world. They are also the only representatives of the fork-tailed manatee family. The animals, which can grow up to 4 m tall and weigh 900 kg, feed exclusively on the seaweed that they chop up with the two horny chewing plates. They have poor eyesight and outwardly unrecognizable ears. Nevertheless, they can hear very well underwater. The males can be recognized by the two "tusks" protruding from under the upper lip. These shy animals can live up to 50 years old and older. They are hunted for their tough skin and the layer of fat that is processed into oil. On Vanuatu, however, the animals are only allowed to be hunted for certain ceremonies and sometimes not at all. Therefore, although they are not very common here, but widespread. You can watch them well on the island of Tanna at Port Resolution.

Herds of wild horses can be seen on the island of Erromango. These live on the White Grass Plaints, a savanna-like plain.

The pigs originally brought in by humans, which are now indigenous animal species, were of particular importance. They were the islanders' most valuable possession and a valid currency almost everywhere on Vanuatu.

Reptiles

Basically all reptiles living on Vanuatu are harmless. The most common of them are geckos.

Crocodiles live on some of the northern islands such as Espiritu Santo and Vanua Lava as well as on the Banks Islands, but they are rarely seen. The non-toxic Pacific Boa is found on Vanua Lava .

Poisonous animals

One of the most dangerous fish is the stonefish belonging to the scorpion fish, which is easy to miss because it is overgrown with algae and buried in the sand. It is littered with spines, with the back spines containing a neurotoxin, which is very poisonous. If you step on the fish, the poison is injected into the body. This leads to nerve paralysis with water formation under the skin, cardiac arrhythmias up to cardiac arrest, peripheral vasodilatation and often to respiratory arrest.

There are several cases where encountering a stonefish has resulted in a fatal outcome. As a first aid measure you should remove the sting, clean the wound and then immerse the injured area in hot water. This method has proven itself as it has a pain-relieving effect and prevents or inhibits the spread of the poison. In any case, additional medical help must be sought.

You also have to be careful with the lionfish, which is also very poisonous.

Cone snails are animals whose dangerousness should not be underestimated. They have barbed poison arrows that can also pierce clothing. The neurotoxin contained in the arrows of some species can lead to death, similar to the stonefish. The cone snails live mainly in the mud and on sandbanks and feed on worms, mollusks and other marine organisms. Only fish-hunting species and some of the species that hunt invertebrates can be dangerous to humans. Nevertheless, it is not advisable to pick up the beautifully drawn snail shells, as the residents quickly defend themselves with arrow shots. The cone snails are found all over the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

There are three types of poisonous sea snakes in the ocean. They often crawl ashore at night and hide under rocks. In general, however, the snakes are rather shy and attacks on people are therefore rare.

Birds

So far over 120 species have been counted, of which around 12 are endemic (only occurring on Vanuatu). On the Banks Islands you can see nesting big foot fowl, which the Polynesians call Malau. These inconspicuous birds are about 30 cm long and have a simple, gray-colored plumage. They can usually only be recognized by the prints on the large feet and the melodious duet singing of the couples. The special thing about Malau is that it doesn't hatch its eggs itself, but uses various external heat sources. He places them near hot springs or in places that have a higher temperature due to geothermal energy. Its diet consists mainly of insects, but snails, seeds and fallen fruits are also on the menu. Since the Malau is not very adaptable,

Invertebrates and insects

Butterflies are very numerous on Vanuatu. Numerous mosquitoes, flies, ants, bees and wasps can also be found here.

The coconut crabs, which are widespread on the Torres Islands and are now almost extinct, are the largest living land crabs in the world. They are closely related to the hermit crabs. However, the coconut crab only has the protective snail shell on its abdomen when it is young and instead forms a chitin blanket with age. In this way she can reach the amazing height of 40 cm, with a wingspan of 1 m.

Another name of the remarkable crab is palm thief, which stems from the fact that for a long time it was believed that the crabs climb on palm trees in order to snip the coconuts from them and then eat them on the ground. While it is true that they can actually climb the palm trees to eat the coconuts on top, it also happens that the fruit will fall off in the process. However, it is wrong to assume that the coconut crab climbed up with the intention of doing just that. Rather, it is chance in the sequence of events that has led to the widespread idea of a palm thief. In addition to coconuts, the menu of the mostly nocturnal coconut crab also includes fruits from other trees such as the pandanus tree.

Underwater world

In addition to dolphins, whales and dugongs, yellowfin tuna, barracudas, swordfish, marlins and numerous sharks enrich the underwater world. In addition, triggerfish or parrot fish live here, to name just these of the other, often very colorful fish,

caution is advised between Ambryn and Malakula, as the large tiger shark is common here. The great white shark can also be expected here and there.

Vanuatu: plants

Trees

The most common tree on Vanuatu is the banyan tree, called nabanga in the local language. It is a botanical specialty and is one of the largest living organisms in the world. It is also known as the strangler fig or Bengal fig. He is a hemiepiphyte, which means that the rhizome (root stock) of this plant rises up on tree trunks, but roots in the ground. By being anchored in the ground, the plant is supplied with nutrients and the aerial roots become thicker and lignified. Over time they develop into strains with e.g. T. enormous diameter. When the roots touch, they fuse, creating a dense network around the host tree. In this way, its main vessels are pinched off and it dies. Banyan trees are fast-growing and can reach a size of over 30 m. What is more impressive, however, is its scope. The largest banyan tree has a circumference of 300 m and is in Calcutta.

The tree is sacred to many peoples because it is regarded as the seat of spirits.

Numerous mangroves, coconut trees, casuerines and panda nut trees grow near the sea. The latter is known in German as "screw palm", which describes the arrangement of its leaves. On the lower part of the trunk, the trees develop strong aerial roots.

Kauri and fern trees can be found inland. Entire kauri forests grow on the island of Erromango. Kauri trees can live up to 60 m high, up to 2,000 years old and reach a circumference of up to 13 m. The tree has gray bark and is also found in New Zealand. However, its population has shrunk considerably, and so it is now a nature reserve.

Crops

Fruits found on Vanuatu include mangoes, oranges, limes, lemons, raspberries, pineapples, as well as watermelons, bananas and prickly peas (also known as sour sacks).

Papaya, sweet potato and taro are also widespread. The latter is also known under the name taro. It is an integral part of the local diet. This bulbous plant belongs to the arum family and forms perennial, up to 2 m high bushes with upright growth. Their heart-shaped leaves are dark green with a fine white coating and often have a diameter of up to 60 cm. The tuberous, thickened roots are mainly used, and are prepared like potatoes. Young taro leaves are also used as vegetables. The fruit of the pawpaw (German: three-lobed paupau) is also popular.

The frangipani is also one of the useful plants, as its strongly fragrant flowers are used to make perfumes. Rare flower oil is also extracted from them.

The kava plant is a robust, slightly succulent (water-storing) perennial shrub that is related to the spice pepper and can reach a height of over 2 m. The trunk is branched and has up to 16 heart-shaped leaves. Kawa has a strongly developed rootstock from which the ceremonial drink kava is prepared. The roots are used fresh or dried and finely ground beforehand.

The large slotted drums by Ambrym are often carved out of the blackish trunk of the breadfruit tree, which symbolize the rank of their owner and at the same time also function as signaling instruments.

Medicinal plants

The roots and shoots of the kawa plant contain kawa-lactones, which have a relaxing, antispasmodic and pain-relieving effect. Therefore, the plant is also used as a remedy.

More plants, poisonous plants

There are numerous ferns on Vanuatu such as the nest fern. The hibiscus, bougainvillae and frangipanis, called wax flower in German, ensure blooming. This plant, which is also widespread in Central America, is available in the form of large shrubs or small trees. It belongs to the dog poison family and stands out for its pink-white and intensely fragrant flowers. Their very long (up to 30 cm), tapering and dark green leaves are also striking. In Asia, the frangipani is considered a temple or sacrificial plant and is a symbol of immortality.

The breadfruit tree imported from India is widespread. This has a bulky habit and large leaves up to half a meter long, as well as fruit clusters weighing up to 5 kg. The elongated, round breadfruit of the tree has a green, prickly skin and grows 2 m high. In Europe it is cooked and eaten as a vegetable. The banyan tree is also not native, but originally comes from India. Caution is advised with the frangipani, as it contains a toxic milky juice.

 

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