Welcome to the Cook Islands
Greetings from the Cook Islands. I am Maria. I have been living on this island for a long time now. I have my own restaurant here. Today I’m going to talk about this extravagant place of ours. Because you know what, I want to share all the fun and experience that I have enjoyed living on this island. I think I should give the chance to people to know about this little heaven on earth.
Cook Islands; introduction
The Cook Islands is established in the South Pacific Ocean. It is a self-governing island country which is now in a free association with New Zealand. Cooke Islanders are the citizens of New Zealand. New Zealand offers both country nationality and Cook Islands Nationals only to Cook Islanders.
The main population of the Islands lives in the island of Rarotonga. There is an international airport in the island of Rarotonga.
The local Cook Islanders are from ethnic Maori descent. There are almost 58000 people, who are native islanders, according to 2006 census.
The Cook Islands are in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand. It is between French Polynesia and American Samoa. The islands are divided into two distinct groups. One is Southern Cook Islands and the other is Northern Cook Islands. In 2200000 square kilometer of Ocean, there are 15 major islands. The islands were formed by volcanic activity. There are also two reefs on the islands.
The Cook Islanders practice democracy and have a parliamentary system in an association with New Zealand. We have an independent judiciary system of the executive and the legislature.
Tourism is our main economic resource. We are affected by geography. We do not have availability of foreign markets. Our infrastructure is in some way inadequate. Natural disasters are our regular companion and biggest barrier for economic development.
We use many languages here. English is our main language. We also use Cook Islands Maori or Rarotonagan and Pukapukan. We consider English and Cook Islands Maori as our official language.
We have a large variation of Music. Christian songs are quite popular. We have our own traditional dancing and songs in Polynesian languages which are very popular here.
Woodcarving is a very famous art form in the Cook Islands. However, we are giving continuous efforts to increase the interest of young generation in our heritage.
Basketware, hats and traditional weaving of mats are produced by the outer islands. These products are of very high quality.
We are doing a moderated form of art here, basically handmade island scenery patchwork. It was first introduced by the wives of missionaries in the 19th century. The craft has grown into a communal activity. This form of art is known as tivaevae. Communal activity has made this popular.
You will certainly receive a warm welcome from the local islanders to this 240 square km area of nature’s paradise. Almost 100,000 tourists are travelling to the islands in every year. Why don’t you? So take the next opportunity to pay a visit here and experience the best in your life.