By:
Mabel Fatokun

With All These Facts, Would You Still Tour Kiribati?

Kiribati

  • 135,158
  • 811.2 km²
Kiribati

An island nation in the central Pacific Ocean is called Kiribati. Only 20 of Kiribati’s 33 islands are inhabited, and they are dispersed across a sizable body of water. From the 16 Gilbert Islands, where most of the population resides, Kiribati stretches 1,800 miles (2,900 km) east to the Line Islands, three of which are inhabited. The islands of the Phoenix group, which are in between, are uninhabited year-round.

The capital and administrative centres are Ambo, Bairiki, and Betio, which are all islets of South Tarawa in the northern Gilberts. Kiribati and Tuvalu were united, formerly known as the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony. Gilberts is pronounced locally as Kiribati in the 13-sound Gilbertese language, also referred to as I-Kiribati. Since the syllable Ti is pronounced similarly to the word see (/s/), the name Kiribati is pronounced “Ki-ri-bas.”

The bulk of the Micronesian population speaks Gilbertese, often known as I-Kiribati. The official language, English, is also extensively spoken, particularly on Tarawa. Roman Catholics make up more than half of the population, with Kiribati Protestants (Congregational) making up the majority of the remainder. There are tiny minority of Bahá’ and Mormon adherents.

Cultural Existence

"A photo of a couple performing a cultural rite in Kiribati"

Kiribati society is still very traditional and resistant to change; family and traditional land are still valued highly, and it is considered improper for anyone to flaunt their success or money. A common pastime is building and competing in sailing canoes. Both musical compositions and traditional dances are acknowledged as art forms and constitute the basis of fierce competition. Volleyball and football (soccer) are popular sports.

Pronouncen Kiribas, Kiribati is an independent republic in the Commonwealth of Nations, located 4,000 km (2,500 mi) southwest of Hawaii in the centre of the Pacific Ocean. This area is part of the division of the Pacific islands known as Micronesia. Kiribati is a series of 33 coral islands consisting of three island groups: the Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands, and Line Islands.

Pronounce it Kiribass, Kiribati became independent of the United Kingdom in 1979. Though most of the atolls are rather low lying and susceptible to rising sea levels owing to global warming, many of them are populated and house the largest marine reserve in the South Pacific.

Kiribati has purchased property in Fiji with authorization from the Fijian government in order to ensure food security and potentially provide shelter.

Kiribati’s economy is highly dependent on the export of copra and coconuts, which makes it unstable. Furthermore, fishing licences, international aid, remittances from abroad workers, and a trust fund formed with the revenues from the phosphate mining on the island of Banaba—the depletion of which had a devastating impact on Kiribati in 1980—all make substantial contributions.

The economy is based on subsistence farming and fishing. Kiribati is a republic with one legislative house; its head of state and government is the president.

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