Saturday, July 4, 2009

The National Anthem of Tuvalu

Tuvalu , formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Samoa and Fiji. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls. Its population of 11,992 makes it the third-least-populated independent country in the world, with only Vatican City and Nauru having fewer inhabitants. It is also one of the smallest member by population of the United Nations. In terms of physical land size, at just 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger only than the Vatican City—0.44 km²; Monaco—1.95 km² and Nauru—21 km².

The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesian people. The islands came under the UK's sphere of influence in the late 19th century. The Ellice Islands were administered by Britain as part of a protectorate from 1892 to 1916 and as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony from 1916 to 1974. In 1974 the Ellice Islanders voted for separate British dependency status as Tuvalu, separating from the Gilbert Islands which became Kiribati upon independence. Tuvalu became fully independent within The Commonwealth in 1978.

Also the national motto, the title of the national anthem "Tuvalu mo te Atua" or "Tuvalu for the Almighty", also appears on the nation's coat of arms. It was composed by Afaese Manoa and adopted as anthem upon independence in 1978.