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Cook Islands National Pavilion Day celebrated

08-06-2010 08:53 BJT Special Report:Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

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Thursday marks the national pavilion day of the Cook Islands at the ongoing Shanghai World Expo.

The Cook Islanders have brought the fresh air of the South Pacific with their unique art and culture to visitors from around the world. Now let's take a closer look.

The Cook Islands gets its name in honor of the British navigator Captain James Cook who first arrived there in 1773, though Captain Cook himself named it Hervey Island.

At the very center of the Polynesian triangle, the Cook Islands consist of 15 individual islands scattered in the south Pacific Ocean. The total land area of the country is 240 square kilometres. But the islands' exclusive economic zone covers an maritime area of nearly 2-million square kilometers. The Cook Islands only has a population of 20 thousand, no bigger than a small New Zealand country town.

Thursday marks the national pavilion day of the Cook Islands at the ongoing Shanghai World Expo. 
Thursday marks the national pavilion day of the Cook
Islands at the ongoing Shanghai World Expo.

But now at the Shanghai Expo, they are showing their distinctive island life to millions of visitors. If there is one outstanding ability which appears to be shared by all Cook Islanders, it would have to be the country's music and dance. Though not as famous as the Hawaiian hula, the Cook Islands "hura" is far more sensual and fierce. Each island has its own special dances that are learned from early childhood.

And this is not the only way to discover their Polynesian identity. The legacy of the early residents who came during the great Polynesian Migration back to 1500 BC are easily seen in everyday life.

The wood-carved art works being exhibited here at the expo actually have more functions. This one is used to press coconut, and this one is a must for almost every family on the island to grind herbal medicine.

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