CULTURE OF NAURU

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit Nauru.
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 26 October, 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 significant. Few of the old customs have been preserved, but some forms of traditional music, arts and crafts, and fishing are still practiced.

There are no daily news publications on Nauru, 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 programs from Radio Australia and the BBC.

Australian rules football is the most popular sport in Nauru. There is an football league with seven teams. All games are played at Nauru's only stadium, the Linkbelt Oval. Other sports popular in Nauru include softball, cricket, golf, sailing, tennis, rugby (union and league), and soccer. Nauru participates in the Commonwealth Games and the Summer Olympic Games, where team members have been somewhat successful in weightlifting. Marcus Stephen has been a medallist, and he was elected to Parliament in 2003, and was elected as President of Nauru in 2007.

A traditional activity is catching noddy terns when they return from foraging at sea. At sunset, men stand on the beach ready to throw their lassos 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, which falls to the ground. The unfortunate noddy is then killed, plucked, cleaned, cooked, and eaten.