May 10 – Constitution Day in Micronesia

Posted on May 10, 2017

I have to admit that I thought that I had already written about Constitution Day in Micronesia. But, when I checked, I discovered that I'd already written about it TWICE! Once, on December 24, and another time, on November 8. What's going on?

It turns out, I was mixing up the days celebrating the state constitutions ("The Federated States of Micronesia" has four states, each with its own Constitution Day) with the day celebrating the constitution for the entire nation of Micronesia (or, to be more proper, of the Federated States of Micronesia).

Four states - but more than 600 islands scattered over an area of more than one million square miles of the Pacific Ocean! A lot of the landscape of this nation is really seascape!

This is the sort of nation that could lose big with global warming, since so many of the islands and islets are low-lying and may entirely disappear with rising seas. However, each of the four states is centered around one or more "high islands." Some of the islands are made up of volcanic peaks that built up high enough to poke up from the ocean surface, and that are now surrounded by fringing coral reefs. Other islands are atolls, rings or partial rings of coral reefs and land whose volcanic peak has now sunk beneath the surface.

Even though all of the states of FSM enjoy year-round warm temperatures and lots of rain or moisture, there is still considerable diversity in plants and and landscapes, and there is also a surprising diversity of peoples, languages, and cultures. English is the official language of the government, business, and trade. The eight major indigenous languages are Yapese, Ulithian, Woleaian, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Kosraean, Nukuoro, and Kapingamarangi. Another language that is frequently spoken among elderly people is Japanese.

Today, enjoy some of the diversity of Micronesia:




and Yap

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