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Everything you need to know about Samoa: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

Samoa: Beautiful Polynesian Island in the South Pacific

The scenic islands of Samoa are located in the South Pacific Ocean near New Zealand and separate from the American Samoa that are under American control since the 1899 treaty between Britain, US and New Zealand. The Polynesians formerly inhabited the Samoa or the Western Samoa in 1000 BC and the Europeans led by the Dutch and French traders reached Samoa Islands only in the 18th Century. Samoa was the scene of muted rivalry between Germany, New Zealand and US and by the treaty of 1899 Germany got hold of the Western Samoa only to be taken over by New Zealand in 1914. The Samoa inhabitants launched an independence struggle locally known as the Mau against German and New Zealand occupation and gained independence in 1962. Presently the island country of Samoa is a Constitutional Monarchy with a elected legislative assembly and in 1997 the country changed its name to the Independent State of Samoa.

Samoa Facts and Figures:

    · National Name: Independent State of Samoa
    · Capital: Apia
    · Total area: 1,137 sq mi (2,944 sq km)
    · Population: 217,083 (2008 est.)
    · Currency: Tala
    · Languages: Samoan, English
    · Ethnicity/ Races: Samoan 92.6%, Euronesians 7% (persons of European and Polynesian blood), Europeans 0.4%
    · Religion: Congregationalist 34.8%, Roman Catholic 19.6%, Methodist 15%, Latter-Day Saints 12.7%, Assembly of God 6.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.5%, other Christian 4.5%, Worship Centre 1.3%, other 1.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2001)
    · GDP (Per Capita): $5,400 (2007 est.)
    · Life Expectancy: 69 years (men), 75 years (women) (UN, 2008)
    · Literacy: 100% (2003 est.)

Samoa Geography and Climate:
Samoa lies east of the International Date Line in the Southern Pacific Ocean and mid way between Hawaii and New Zealand. The two islands of Upolu and Savaii account for 99% of the total land area of Samoa and among these two the Upolu houses nearly two thirds of the entire Samoan population.

The Samoan Islands have a volcanic origin and are still some active volcanoes erupt occasionally on the island. Samoans enjoy tropical climate with no major seasonal variations during the summers and winters. Also the days and nights in Samoa are of equal duration.

Samoa Economy:
Samoan economy is still traditional and agriculture dependent with major exports like coconut cream, coconut oil, noni and copra. Samoa has many banana plantations for exporting bananas to New Zealand, which has a large captive market for bananas. But the Samoan government has recently begun to diversify its economy and tap into the vast tourism potential that the country holds.

Samoa Culture:
Samoans have successfully preserved their traditional traditions and way of life despite of centuries of alien rule. Even though majority of the Samoans have embraced Christianity it has been integrated with their fa’a Samoa or the traditional customs and rituals. Samoans believe in mutual respect or fa’aaloalo towards each other and believe in communal living with least privacy and maximum trust. No wonder then Samoan homes are without walls rather are covered by blinds constructed from coconut pals fonds. The Samoans, just like other Polynesian, also have many unique tattoos like the tatau for males and teine for females. Siva is the traditional dance of the Samoans, which is similar to the hula dance form of the Hawaii islanders.

Samoa Tourist Attractions:
Samoa Islands are largely a virgin group of Islands whose beauty is waiting to be tapped. It has many exciting places to offer like the Papapapaitai Falls in the capital Apia that plunges 500 feet into a volcanic cater. Tourists should also visit the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum in Apia to know more of the life and times of the legendary poet whose burial site is also at the museum.

Other Places to see in Samoa:

    · Old Apia Market
    · Marketi Tuai, Upolu
    · Mt Vaea, Upolu
    · Fale Fonu, Upolu
    · Piula Cave Pool, Upolu

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