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NauruNauru likely gets its name from the Nauruan word Anaoero, which means "I go to the beach."


Nauru's historic beginnings are similar to all of the South Pacific beginnings, but Nauru sits in the middle of the Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian people, giving them aspects of all of these cultures. Like these people, the early Nauruan settlers survived off the lands and their lifestyle was focused on the foods from the land and seas. While this remains true to some degree today, the culture and lifestyle in Nauru have vastly changed in recent years.

As settlers made their way to the South Pacific, nearly all immigrating waves are believed to have passed through Nauru and intermarried the local people. The people today maintain aspects of all these ethnicities and their languages are present in Nauru, however the similarities are most striking when compared to Micronesia both ethnically and linguistically. This was the root of their culture and remains to today.

The Europeans began making a significant presence in the 1800s as ships regularly passed by and stopped, often trading fish for guns and other European goods not accessible on the island. This contact began the slow transformation of the culture and way of life on Nauru; it also began the escalation of conflicts on the island as weapons magnified the arguments and divided the island at a number of times through history. This state of affairs was short lived as missionaries arrived and converted most of the people to Christianity, which the people remain today.

Today the culture and lifestyle remain ever-changing, particularly due to the phosphate mines that were found on the island. This resource generated a great deal of revenue for the people, but it also destroyed much of the land and many foreigners immigrated to work. Since the phosphate has run out, the lands are nearly unworkable and jobs are rare as this small island nation struggles to find work. Additionally, the many foreigners have changed the culture as most people now speak English and live a more European-influence lifestyle, although few people today can afford the luxuries often associated with this lifestyle.

The flag of Nauru represents the Pacific Ocean and the yellow stripe, the Equator. The large star dictates Nauru's location relative to the Equator and its 12 points represent the 12 original tribes of Nauru.

Name: Republic of Nauru
Independence: January 31, 1968
Capital: None (government located in Yaren)
Currency: Australian Dollar
Population: 9,434 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Nauruan & Others
Language: Nauruan
Religion: Protestant & Catholic

Information for Nauru was last updated: March, 2014 ● View our: Sources & Special Thanks