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The Oceania Portal

An orthographic projection of geopolitical Oceania

Oceania (UK: /ˌsiˈɑːniə, ˌʃi-, -ˈn-/, US: /ˌʃiˈæniə/ (About this soundlisten), /-ˈɑːn-/) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and a population of over 41 million. When compared with the continents, the region of Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.

Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and human development index, to the much less developed economies such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesian New Guinea, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Tuvalu, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Palau, Fiji and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, and the largest city is Sydney. (Full article...)

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A beach on Rarotonga.

The Cook Islands (Cook Islands Maori : Kuki Airani) are a self-governing parliamentary democracy in free association with New Zealand. The 15 small islands have a total land area of 240 km². Tourism is the country's number one industry, the leading element of the economy, far ahead of offshore banking, pearls, marine and fruit exports. A popular art form on the islands is tivaivai, often likened to quilting.

The population is 21,388 (July 2005 est). The capital is Avarua on Rarotonga. Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand.

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The 2007 Pacific Games were held in Apia, Samoa, from 25 August to 8 September, 2007. The Games were also known as the XIII South Pacific Games. The Games were the thirteenth Pacific Games to be held since the event's inception in 1963 and included traditional multi-sport event disciplines, such as athletics and swimming, alongside region-specific and smaller events such as outrigger canoeing, surfing and lawn bowls. The principal venue for the Games was Apia Park, with other events taking place at the Faleata Sporting Complex and at other locations around Samoa.

The opening ceremony took place on 25 August 2007 at Apia Park Stadium and was performed in a traditional Samoan and Pacific style, welcoming some 5,000 athletes from 22 nations and territories to Samoa.

The ceremony was attended by Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa (who also competed in the Games), and Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, Head of State. Choreographed by Samoan contemporary dancer Alan Aiolupotea the ceremony featured dancing portraying the "mystical legends" from Samoa's island heritage (such as the stories of Sina and her Eel and Nafanua) with a five-year old female fire dancer from Siumu Village performing a siva afi (or fire stick dance) accompanied by a Samoan song depicting the flow of lava following the 1905 eruptions near Savai'i being one of the showcase displays.



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