Portal:Oceania

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Introduction

An orthographic projection of geopolitical Oceania

Oceania (UK: /ˌsiˈɑːniə, ˌʃi-, -ˈn-/, US: /ˌʃiˈæniə/ (About this sound listen), /-ˈɑːn-/) is a geographic region comprising Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and Australasia. Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania covers an area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and has a population of 40 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region, Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.

The islands at the geographic extremes of Oceania are Bonin Islands, a politically integral part of Japan; Hawaii, a state of the United States; Clipperton Island, a possession of France; the Juan Fernández Islands, belonging to Chile; the Campbell Islands, belonging to New Zealand; and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, belonging to Australia. Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial market of Australia and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and human development index, to the much less developed economies that belong to countries such as of Kiribati 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, with Sydney being the largest city of both Oceania and Australia.

Daily article

Palau boatyard on Malakal Island, Koror - August 1973.

The Republic of Palau is a borderless country in the Pacific Ocean, located some 500 km east of the Philippines. Having emerged from United Nations trusteeship (administered by the United States of America) in 1994, it is one of the world's youngest and least populated nations. It is sometimes referred to in English under its native name Belau.

Palau's most important islands are Angaur, Babeldaob, Koror, and Peleliu, which lie together within the same barrier reef. About two thirds of the population lives on Koror. The population is 20,303 (2005 est.). The capital is Koror, with the same name as the island.

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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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