Micronesia, federated states of

There’s something to be said for a country that has tried to outlaw ties and baseball caps. Despite being firmly tied to the USA’s economic and political apron strings, each of the four island states has maintained its own culture: Kosrae remains a casual backwater;Pohnpei a jungle paradise; bright, bubbly Chuuk attracts divers with its sunken WWll wrecks; and unconventional Yap is a traditional centre, famous for its massive stone money.Temperatures hover around 81f (27c) year-round, but it’s a little less humid Decembr to JuneDiving the sunken Japanese fleet resting in Chuuk lagoon Bashing through thick rainforest interiors or snorkeling the fringing reef of Kosrae Staying amongst the hibiscus flowers and jungle hillsides on Pohnpei Rocking on at Nan Madol, Pohnpei’s ancient stone city Embracing traditional life in Yap, where some people still wear loincloths and everyone has a bulge of betel nut in their cheek Collecting seachells on Nukuoro, an uninhibited Polynesian havenRead lslands: A Special Good, by Bernadette V Wehrly-a collection of poems, songs and legendsListen to Randall Mathias’ a lbum Little Refonuwach, a blend of Contemporary and traditional Chuukese melodiesWatch The Paradies lslands, Micronesia-a video designed to show off the islands as a tourist destinationEat (or rather chew) buw (betel nut), sometimes with tobacco added on YapDrink sakau (kava), a narcotic drink made from the roots of pepper shrubs, which is hugely popular on PohnpeiMogethin (Yapese), Kaselehia (Pohnpeian), Ran annim (chuukese)- greetings from the respective islandsGiant stone money; red-stained lips from betel nut chewing; diving in underwater maritime ‘museums’; bountiful seafood feasts; dark jungle interiors; friendly villagers; empty beachesMicronesian societies are made up of clan groupings, with descent traced through the mother (except on Yep, where descent is patrilineal); the head clan on each island can trace its lineage back to the island’s original settlersThe residents of the FSM have the same native tongue. They communicate with each other in English, the language of their most recent colonial administrator.


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