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Tuesday 25th June
Kiribati Information - Page 2
In 1892 Kiribati, known as the Gilbert Islands, became part of the British Protectorate of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands (Tuvalu).

The British Colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands was formed in 1916. Later, the Line Islands and the Phoenix Islands were added to the Colony.

During the Second World War Japanese troops occupied the Gilbert Islands. Fierce fighting took place in Tarawa between Japanese and US troops.

In 1975 the Gilbert Islands and the Ellice Islands separated. The Ellice Islands gained independence in 1975, becoming known as Tuvalu, and the Gilbert Islands achieved independence in 1979, changing its name to Kiribati.

Kiribati and Tuvalu both retained links with the United Kingdom through membership of the Commonwealth.

Farming and fishing are traditional occupations in Kiribati. Agricultural products include copra, taro, sweet potatoes and breadfruit.

Revenue is received from the sale of fishing licences.

Remittances from I-Kiribati employed overseas are important to the economy and tourism provides approximately one-fifth of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

Kiribati receives financial aid from around the world including an annual amount from an Australian trust fund. (2011)

Music is an important part of I-Kiribati culture. The traditional Ruoia dance often forms part of celebrations in Kiribati.

Kiribati is particularly famous for traditional canoe building. Local crafts sold to the tourist include items such as woven mats and shark-teeth swords.

Canoe racing is popular in Kiribati. Another local sport is a hand ball game called oreano.

Soccer and volleyball are also played in Kiribati.

Christmas and other religious holidays are celebrated. Independence Day is on 12 July (1979).

News from Kiribati is available in Newslink.

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