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New Caledonia

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Souvenirs from New Caledonia

As a part of the Melanesian islands, New Caledonia offers the sights and sounds of the tropics, and uniquely tribal memorabilia. A brightly colored sarong is a most practical souvenir from New Caledonia, and can be worn in a variety of ways. You can further adorn yourself with seashell necklaces and jewelry made from black coral. Sandstone is sculpted into boxes and statues, and comes in many different shades. If you would like to bring a taste of paradise home, New Caledonian souvenirs like banana, coconut and guava preserves and candy will delight your tongue. Baskets, woven by tribal women, are very useful, and can hold all the key chains, magnets and postcards you will be bringing back. Native woodwork is a most charming example of the tribes, and is turned into ceremonial masks, arrows, carvings and totems, or stylized replicas of gods and island spirits.

The Politics of New Caledonia

New Caledonia is a special holding of the government of France in the Pacific Ocean, near Australia, and is called an archipelago, or collection of islands. Spread over 18,000 km, there are around 250,000 people living in the area. While officially under French rule, the native populations desire to live under their own government. In the 1980s, there were a series of protests and civil clashes expressing secessionist feelings, leading to the Noumea Accord in 1998. This accord states that there is to be an independence referendum between 2014- 2018. It also states that the name of the territory, the flag, anthem, motto, and monetary design will also have to be changed to reflect the future of the country. Steps are being taken in that direction, including a new anthem, a motto and a new design for banknotes. Currently, the Kanak flag flies alongside the French flag in governmental buildings, leading the country to the future.

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