Top 10 facts about Vanuatu
1. The islands were discovered and claimed in 1606 by Spain which had a short-lived settlement there before they were forgotten again.
2. The islands were rediscovered in 1768 and in 1774, Captain James Cook named them the New Hebrides.
3. The name of Vanuatu, from two local words meaning ‘home’ and ‘stand’ was adopted on independence in 1980.
4. Their local language is a form of pidgin English known as Bislama.
5. The first verse of “Jenesis” in Bislama reads: “Bifo we bifo olgeta, God i mekem wol mo skae wetem olgeta samting we i stap long tufala.”
6. Vanuatu is currently ranked equal with Tonga in 197th place in the Fifa world football rankings.
7. Vanuata sent a team of five to the London 2012 Olympics. None progressed past the first round.
8. It was their biggest team since 1992, when they sent six.
9. Their national dish ‘lap lap’ is vegetable paste, coconut milk and meat cooked in a banana leaf.
10. The Vanuatu national anthem is “Yumi, yumi, yumi,” (We, we, we).