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Culture, History and Facts About Tuvalu

Prabhakar Pillai
Tuvalu is a small country in the west-central Pacific Ocean. It consists of 9 coral islands.
Along with Kiribati, Tuvalu formed the British Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony. Though geographically remote as well as small in size,  the tiny nation has a distinct culture and heritage.
History of Tuvalu 
In the 14th century, Polynesians from neighboring islands moved to this island nation. In 1568, Alvaro Mendana de Neyra of Spain sailed past Tuvalu.
In 1819, a British ship arrived at Funafuta. The island was given the name 'Ellice Island'. Subsequently, all the 9 islands were called Ellice Islands.
In 1892, the Ellice Islands and Gilbert Islands were made a single British protectorate. In 1975, the Ellice Islands were segregated from the Gilbert Islands. It was also given a new name -'Tuvalu'.
In 1978, Tuvalu became an independent nation. The country became a UN member in 2000.
Tuvaluan and English are the 2 official languages here.
The meaning of the word 'Tuvalu' is 'eight standing together'. This refers to the initial 8 inhabited islands of the nation.
The country owns the .tv extension on the Internet. Tuvalu earns several million dollars a year by leasing out this extension.
Credit cards are not accepted in this country.
The island state is in danger of disappearing due to global warming. Because of its low elevation, Tuvalu is particularly at risk from rising ocean levels.
Tuvalu's cuisine mainly employs coconut and local varieties of fish.
The capital of Tuvalu is Funafuti. The latter is home to 56% of the country's population.
The country's Flag has 9 stars, with each star representing one of the 9 islands of Tuvalu.
Tuvalu is the world's 4th smallest nation in terms of area.
The country's population is roughly 11,000.
Christianity is the predominant religion of this island-nation.
Tuvaluans are famous for their exquisite mats, fans as well as ladies skirts and tops.
It is among the select club of 4 nations in the world made up entirely of coral atolls.
It is the least visited country in the world with just 2000 tourists annually.