Month: June 2017

Hawaiki Nui Va’a International race back in november

The great Polynesian canoe race, Hawaiki Nui Va’a, is coming back at the end of the year. Born in 1992, from the dream of Edouard Maamaatuaiahutapu and his friends, this International Sporting Event was inspired to its creators by the natural majesty of the islands where they lived and by the traditions of their ancestors. This last idea is clearly illustrated by the name of the race, which borrows the ancient name of the island of Raiatea : Hawaiki Nui. It is believed to have been, in pre-european times, the origin of the great Polynesian migrations towards all the lands of...

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The Polynesian god of war conquers the UN

In ancient times, Polynesians sacrificed defeated warriors on his sacred grounds. Oro, the mythical god of war has the mana, even nowadays, to conquer the UN… at least the UNESCO committee. Better late than ever, The United Nations will soon have the occasion to fix one of its major oversight in Oceania. The center of ancient Polynesian civilisation, Marae Taputapuatea, dedicated to Oro, is on its way to enter the World heritage list in a few days, the 8th and 9th July. Even if the final decision will be made by the UNESCO committee, it should only be positive,...

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Micronesia stands up to a giant Chinese company

Yap is a small island in the Federated States of Micronesia, still ruled by a traditional council of chiefs. A new tourism development project pushed by a giant Chinese company would build as much as 10 000 room resort in the tiny island of 11 000 residents… The story is well told by David Morris at TheDiplomat.com. Chinese company Exhibition and Travel Group approached the island with a tourism development project. First accounts talked of a complex of up to 10 000 keys… But this will not happen: the public outcry forced the promoters to talk down to project to a...

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Taro: the forgotten Pacifican superfood

It is a staple of Pacifican and Asian food, yet taro is fast disappearing from our plates. Potatoes and flour are taking its place, and people gladly forget the bland traditional vegetable. But at Pacificans we still like the full texture, unique taste, purple color of taro root, as well as its ability to quench the most urgent hunger… We found a Samoan mom who offers the solution. In Tahiti we like our taro to be baked for hours in the traditional buried oven. The fact that uncooked taro is actually toxic is a good motivation. We also like...

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An app to identify fishes from the Pacific

The mobile app PacFishID lets you identify fish species from the Pacific. It was developed and is maintained by the Coastal Fisheries Programme of the Pacific Community, with money from Australia and the EU. The Pacific Community, a club of Pacific countries, created it for its fish inspectors. They use it to control the catch of fishermen for protected species or specific regulation. PacFishID is not one of those “take a picture and the robot will identify the animal for you”. It is actually a book that has been adapted as an app, and the mobile version has the retro...

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The start of the ukulele wars

Tahiti just lost its world record for biggest ukulele ensemble, obtained in April 2015. This Polynesian people proudly kept the title for one year and a half, until a church from Hong Kong (pictured above) got the best of them. The Chinese gathered 6125 players for New Year, pulverizing the 4792 players mobilized in Tahiti. In the Tahitian media, calls for a new attempt at the record have been heard immediately after the new Guinness World Record was shared on Facebook. The same day, local TV channel TNTV caught on film the Polynesian president jamming with a ukulele, as if training...

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Hawaii welcomes Hokule’a back home

The conclusion of the 40,000 nautical miles around “island earth” of the double-hulled Hawaiian canoe, Hokule’a, has finally arrived to its final destination, coming back to its original Homeland, into Ala Moana Beach Park on Saturday, according to radio New Zealand. Joyful crowds were present to welcome back the seafarers, after their long journey, navigating mostly in the traditional way : finding their path trough the tumultuous waters of our mighty Ocean during 3 years and visiting about 150 ports in 27 countries, solely powered by the wind and guided by the stars. The goal was to spread an ecological...

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She navigates the world and sees it changing

Climate change is, indeed, one of the greatest challenges we, Pacificans, have to face… Jenna Ishii did experience it in real life, while she was sailing on Hokule’a, the double-hulled traditional sailing Polynesian (Hawaiian) vaka. Member of the Polynesian voyaging society, she engaged in the journey as a apprentice navigator.   During the seafaring, she noticed how the weather conditions were quite harsh. According to Radio New-Zealand, she reported, in her own words : “Once we left the Pacific, everything changed, and all the forecasts were changing with us. Because it was one of the hottest years with El nino...

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Mobile networks: The Pacific leads the way to 4.5G

The first countries in the world to try out the new standard for ultra high speed mobile internet are all in the Pacific. Queenstown in New Zealand just entered the very small club of cities with maximal mobile speed, joining Vancouver in Canada and Sydney in Australia. 4.5G is also named “LTE Advanced Pro” or 4GX in Australia. With theoretical speeds of up to 1Gbs in mobile download (half that in practice), it will provide the bandwidth necessary for our new mobile addictions. Mobile videos in 4K, virtual reality, the connected cars, fridges and pets… It will cover all...

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Pacific lands tighten up their links

NZ funds Tonga infrastructures NZ prime minister Bill English declared recently in a press conference that his country would be funding  US$10 million in a submarine cable between Tonga and Polynesia. The goal is to help to connect Aitutaki and Rarotonga, the main touristic islands, to the rest of the world, with enhanced speed and at lower prices. He mentioned another funding agreement signed with the Cook Islands, committing a little more than US$6 millions for the construction of a wastewater system. The goal is also to help the Cook Island enforce their infrastructure and be better prepared to...

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