Vanuatu is located in the southwestern Pacific and is made up of two island chains. The island state consists of 82 volcanic, geologically relatively young islands, which are spread over about 1,300 kilometers in a north-south direction. The islands are densely forested and mountainous. Only some of Vanuatu’s islands are of any size. The two largest islands are Espiritu Santo and Malakula. The highest point on Vanuatu is the Tabwemasana volcano with a height of 1,877 m. There are five other active volcanoes on the archipelago. The narrow strips of land on the coasts are used for agriculture, which is the only significant industry in Vanuatu alongside fishing and tourism. There are no natural resources here.
From a tourist point of view, diving tourism is the most important in Vanuatu. Divers usually focus on the two islands of Efate and Espiritu Santo. Several diving centers have been set up here, where diving trips and diving courses are offered.
The name Vanuatu sounds rather unusual to Europeans. But it is a wonderful area that should be seen once. Around 218,000 people live in Vanuatu. 98 percent of them are Melanesians. The population in Vanuatu is growing by approximately 1.4 percent every year. Unfortunately, the country is very poor and therefore not in a position to finance a well-functioning school system. Over 26 percent of the people in Vanuatu are illiterate.
There are 108 local languages in Vanuatu, so Vanuatu has the largest language density in the world.
A common language in Vanuatu is Bislama. But only about 25 percent state this as their mother tongue. In addition, most of the residents have a knowledge of English and French. These three languages are also the official languages of Vanuatu.
Different language groups already existed in the region in earlier times. When they met and could not communicate verbally, they used drawings painted in sand to correspond. In 2003, UNESCO recognized the sand drawings as a cultural heritage of mankind.
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