Friday, July 23, 2010

Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Cook Islands is a New Zealand dependency that is for practical purposes independent since 4 August 1965 when it gained self-government.  This tiny nation has only 14,000 inhabitants living on 15 islands 240 sq km in total surface area scattered across 2 million sq km of ocean area.  It has an independent foreign policy and has established diplomatic relations with many countries worldwide.  Officially, it is a country in "free association" with New Zealand. Defence remains the responsibility of Wellington and all its citizens are also citizens of New Zealand.  There is a fair bit of national pride...I offended a tour guide by asking to what extent the country isn't independent and got a rebuttal - "We are an independent country".  Independence is as much a matter of the state of mind, legal definition and economic substance...

I visited the beautiful island of Rarotonga, where Avarua, capital of Cook Islands, is located.   Here are some photos of my short visit as well as the cultural performance I attended.

Posted via email from Nomadic Republic2

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