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Nauru - Culture

Nauru Culture

When the Germans annexed the place in 1888, they had no time for the islanders' dancing and were quick to ban it. Many indigenous cultural practices have followed suit, and one form of culture is now beamed into homes from Television New Zealand through TV aerials or satellite dishes, of which there are plenty. Australian Rules football has almost the status of a religion, and some children are even named after the game's greats. Nauruan islanders are among the wealthiest in the world per head of population, and cars, refrigerators and other mod-cons are commonplace.

English and Nauruan, a unique Pacific language with recognisable elements of Melanesian, Polynesian and Micronesian, are spoken. English is the official language used for government and commerce. The clan was the traditional building block of Nauruan life, and today's electoral boundaries roughly represent traditional clan areas.

Junk food is widespread, and diseases of affluence - diabetes, obesity and heart disease - are common. Most of the country's food has to be imported, so don't go expecting traditional Pacific feasts. Some pigs and chickens are raised locally, and some tropical fruit and vegetables are grown, especially around Buada Lagoon, but the island is overwhelmingly dependent on imports for its food and water.

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