NAURU: CULTURE OF NAURU

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The 1999 Australian rules football grand final, played at Linkbelt Oval

Nauruans descended from Polynesian and Micronesian seafarers who believed in a female deity, Eijebong, and a spirit land, an island called Buitani. Two of the 12 original tribal groups became extinct in the 20th century. Angam Day, held on October 26, celebrates the recovery of the Nauruan population after the two world wars, which together reduced the indigenous population to fewer than 1500. The displacement of the indigenous culture by colonial and contemporary, western influences is palpable. Few of the old customs have been preserved, but some forms of traditional music, arts and crafts, and fishing are still practised.
There is no daily news publication, but there are several weekly or fortnightly publications, including the ''Bulletin'', the ''Central Star News'' and ''The Nauru Chronicle''. There is a state-owned television station, Nauru Television (NTV) which broadcasts programmes from New Zealand, and there is a state-owned non-commercial radio station, Radio Nauru, which carries items from Radio Australia and the BBC.[40]
Australian rules football is the most popular sport in Nauru; there is an elite national league with seven teams. All games are played at the island's only stadium, Linkbelt Oval. Other sports popular in Nauru include softball, cricket, golf, sailing, tennis, and soccer. Nauru participates in the Commonwealth and Summer Olympic Games, where it has been successful in weightlifting; Marcus Stephen has been a prominent medallist and was elected to parliament in 2003. Nauru's two best tennis players, David Detudamo and his sister Angelita Detudamo, are currently under athletic scholarships in the United States. David plays for Cameron University in Oklahoma and Angelita plays for Collin County in Texas.
A traditional activity is catching noddy birds when they return from foraging at sea. At sunset, men stand on the beach ready to throw their lasso at the incoming birds. The Nauruan lasso is supple rope with a weight at the end. When a bird approaches, the lasso is thrown up, hits or drapes itself over the bird, and then falls to the ground. The captured noddies are cooked and eaten.[41]