Monday, April 11, 2011

Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

  • Rapa Nui was the only Polynesian culture to keep a written language.
  • Easter Island get its name from its discovery on Easter Sunday, 1722. 
  • Easter Island is located in the middle of the South Pacific between Chile and Tahiti.
  • Only one airline flies to Easter Island: LanChile, out of Santiago.
  • The Rapa Nui people probably arrived from Polynesia around 400 AD.
  • There are about 800 moai (statues) on Easter Island.
  • The written language of the Rapa Nui has yet to be deciphered.  
  • Easter Island's only festival is the Tapati Rapa Nui in February, which celebrates traditional Rapa Nui culture. 
  • Easter Island is a small, hilly and treeless island of volcanic origin.
  • In the 1860’s Tahitian sailors gave the island the name Rapa Nui, meaning ‘Great Rapa,’ due to its resemblance to another island in Polynesia called Rapa Iti, meaning ‘Little Rapa’.


  • Tonga is located right on the International Date Line, so it's the first nation to bring in the New Year for the world.
  • Tonga consists of  over 170 islands. About 50 of the islands are inhabited.
  • Skillful oratory filled with proverbs, historical allusions and even poetry is an important part of Tongan culture. In fact, certain men with such skills have been designated as "talking chiefs."
  • Tonga has only two seasons, summer and winter.
  • Guns are illegal in Tonga.
  • Gambling is a strict no-no in Tonga and you will find no casino or other form of organized gambling in Tonga.
  • Tongan women are quite famous as skillful jugglers.
  • Around two-thirds of Tonga's population dwells on the main island of Tongatapu.
  • It is illegal to walk around with no shirt on even when swimming.
  • In Tonga, shaking hands is considered the most appropriate form of greeting.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


  • In ancient Fiji, all boys would have their heads sheved hen they were five years old- and they keep their heads shaved until they were 18.  Growing their hairwas a symbol of manhood.
  • Until the mid-19th century, the practice of eating one’s enemy was an accepted and honored tradition in Fiji.
  • The Fiji national rugby union team is one of the best in the world.
  • Fire-walking is a popular activity in Fiji that nowadays is mainly used to entertain tourists.
  • On New Year’s Eve, many Fijian village women play a game called veicaqe moli (loosely translated as “kick the orange”), in which the winning team is required to present a gift of new clothes to the losing team.
  • Fiji islands have white sandy beaches, which are an outcome of natural grinding down of dead coral. 
  • The country's coins and colorful banknotes still bear an image of the Queen of England. 
  • Fiji is comprised of over 300 islands.


  • Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than Tahiti does in an entire year.
  • It’s common to put a tiare (Tahiti’s national flower) behind one’s ear -- left side you’re taken, right if you’re looking. 
  • Over half of the population is under the age of 20 years old. 
  • The traditional method of "stone fishing" is still performed for special festivals.
  • The word tattoo originated in Tahiti. The legend of Tohu, the god of tattoo, describes painting all the oceans’ fish in beautiful colors and patterns. In Polynesian culture, tattoos have long been considered signs of beauty, and in earlier times were ceremoniously applied when reaching adolescence. 
  • Those things that look like mail boxes outside the homes of Tahitian residents are not for mail, but for French bread delivery. Residents get a fresh loaf dropped off twice a day.
  • Tipping(when buying food) in Tahiti and Her Islands is not required - nor expected.
  • There is no sales tax in Tahiti.
  • Tahitians express themselves through dance-but also through seven different languages. You can hear French, Tahitian, Marquesas, Tuamotu, Rutu, Tubai, & Mangareva on the islands.


  • In Samoa, young men are in charge of the food- including the gathering and the cooking.
  • Samoans are known throughout Polynesia as the "happy people" because of their enjoyment of life and their good-spirited nature.
  • In Samoa, it is acceptable for a family who has too many sons, to raise the youngest boy as a daughter. He is known as a fa’afafine and is given a girl’s name and wears feminine clothing… and is even allowed to use the ladies bathroom.
  • Canned tuna is Samoa's most important manufactured export.
  • Samoa is slightly smaller that Rhode Island.
  • In Samoa, you still find lots of traditional healers, usually specialized in a certain illness or problem. You have bone healers, back healers, spiritual healers, skin healers and many more.

Aotearoa - New Zealand

  • The Poi ball game(invented in Aotearoa) taught ancient Maori people two things: first, it improved coordination, timing, and skills neccessary for handling weapons. Second, it told stories and legends of the past.
  • A kiwi is not a fruit – it is New Zealand’s native flightless bird and a slang term for a New Zealander. Kiwis call the fruit “kiwifruit” – they are also known as Chinese Gooseberries.
  • New Zealand was the first country to have its three top positions of power held simultaneously by women: The Prime Minister (Helen Clark), the Governor General (Dame Silvia Cartwright), and the Chief Justice (Sian Elias).
  • New Zealand has a strong hold on the international trade in sheep meat. There are presently around 9 sheep to every 1 human in New Zealand.
  • Wellington, the Capital City of New Zealand is the southernmost capital city in the world. 
  • Sir Edmund Hillary – the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest was a New Zealander (born in Auckland) and his face is on the New Zealand $5 bill.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


  • In ancient Hawaii you would not wear any clothes until the age of 8.  When yo were given clothes you would be expected to work.
  • The highest recorded temperature in Hawaii was 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • When measured from east to west Hawaii is the widest state.
  • Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that grows coffee.
  • Hawaii produces about 320,000 tons of pineapple each year. 
  •  The Hawaiian alphabet consists of only twelve letters. The five vowels are A,E, I, O,U. And the seven consonants are H,K,L,M,N,P,W.
  •  Hawaii is the only state whose land area is constantly increasing due to volcanic eruptions.
  • Hawaii is the only U.S. state where the majority of people are non-white.
  • More birds have become extinct in Hawaii than in any other part of the world.
  • Hawaii has the highest life expectancy in the United States. Life expectancy for males is 75, for females 80 years.  
  • Hawaii has the fewest overweight people in the United States.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii is the second most expensive city in the United States, after Anchorage, Alaska.
  • The coral reefs in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands make up about 70 percent of all the reefs in the United States. 
  • Hawaii is the southernmost state in the United States.