Search This Blog

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Greenland

HISTORY

The inhabitants of Greenland originated from Central Asia.

Inhabited by indigenous peoples since 2500 BC (though not continuously), since the 18th century Greenland has been part of Denmark.

The Inuit and Vikings colonized Greenland multiple times, but they often missed the other and found the ruins of the other's attempt. Their first contact finally happened in the 1200s, with Inuits colonizing the Vikings.

English sea captain and privateer, Martin Frobisher, sighted Greenland in July 1576 during his third expedition voyage with 15 ships.

After WWII,in 1946 the U. offered to buy Greenland from Denmark for $100,000,000, but Denmark refused to sell.

Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953, when it became a country. It attained home rule in 1979.

In 1973, Greenland joined the European Economic Community with Denmark. However, in a referendum in 1982, a majority of the population voted for Greenland to withdraw from the EEC, which was effected three years later.

In 2008, Greenlanders voted in favor of self-rule. Under the new structure, in effect since June 21, 2009, the Danish government retains control of foreign affairs and defence and the local Greenlandic government assumed responsibility for everything else.

The Hvalsey Church, which was the first Christian church on the continent, is one of best preserved Norse ruins.

DEMOGRAPHICS

With 56,492 people, Greenland is the world's most sparsely populated country.

Of its population of just under 57,000, about 15,000 of whom live in the capital Nuuk.

The largest town in southern Greenland is Qaqortoq, which has been occupied for about 4,300 years.

The official languages of the country are Greenlandic and Danish, though English is widely understood.

One in every five people in Greenland attempts to kill themselves at some point in their lifetimes.

GEOGRAPHY

Greenland is the world's largest island that is not a continent. Put differently, it's the world's fifth largest land mass.

Almost 80 percent of the land mass is covered by an ice cap and glaciers. Though a minority of land, the ice-free area is nearly as large as Sweden.

The Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the biggest glacier outside of Antarctica.

The country is geographically part of North America, but politically is part of Europe.

There are a number of hot springs that attract visitors throughout the year to their balmy temperatures averaging between 98 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

POLITICS

The government is a constitutional monarchy, with a 31-member unicameral parliament called Landsting and a premier. The country sends two representatives to the Danish Folketing. The nominal head of state is the Danish monarch.

Danish krone is the currency of Greenland.

FUN FACTS

The name Greenland means "Land of People."

The names of the territories of Greenland translate to "much ice", "center", "south" and "darkness".

The country's flag has a polar bear in a blue shield - the polar bear is meant to symbolize the fauna of Greenland and the blue represents the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

The sun does not set from May 25th to July 25th. June 21, the longest day of the year, is a national holiday.

July is the only month when Greenland's temperature reaches above freezing.

"Kayak" and "igloo" are Greenlandic words that have been adopted directly by other languages.

Soccer is the national sport of Greenland but they’re not allowed to join FIFA. This is because Greenland cannot sustain a grass pitch due to the permafrost which envelops the country.

Sources Radio Times, Hurtigruten.com/

No comments:

Post a Comment