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Portal:Oceania

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The Oceania Portal

An orthographic projection of geopolitical Oceania
An orthographic projection of geopolitical Oceania

Oceania (UK: /ˌsiˈɑːniə, ˌʃi-, -ˈn-/, US: /ˌʃiˈæniə/ (About this soundlisten), /-ˈɑːn-/) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and a population of over 41 million. When compared with the continents, the region of Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.

Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia and Hawaii, which rank high in quality of life and human development index, to the much less developed economies such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesian New Guinea, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Tuvalu, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Palau, Fiji and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, and the largest city is Sydney.

The arrival of European settlers in subsequent centuries resulted in a significant alteration in the social and political landscape of Oceania. In more contemporary times there has been increasing discussion on national flags and a desire by some Oceanians to display their distinguishable and individualistic identity. The rock art of Aboriginal Australians is the longest continuously practised artistic tradition in the world. Puncak Jaya in Papua is the highest peak in Oceania at 4,884 metres. Most Oceanian countries are multi-party representative parliamentary democracies, with tourism being a large source of income for the Pacific Islands nations. (Full article...)

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Bougainville (/ˈbɡənvɪl/ BOH-gən-vil; Tok Pisin: Bogenvil), officially the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (Tok Pisin: Otonomos Region bilong Bogenvil), is an autonomous region in Papua New Guinea. The largest island is Bougainville Island, while the region also includes Buka Island and a number of outlying islands and atolls. The interim capital is Buka, although this is considered temporary, with the capital likely to move. One potential location is Arawa, the previous capital.

In 2011, the region had an estimated population of 250,000 people. The lingua franca of Bougainville is Tok Pisin, while a variety of Austronesian and non-Austronesian languages are also spoken. The region includes several Polynesian outliers where Polynesian languages are spoken. Geographically the islands of Bougainville and Buka are part of the Solomon Islands archipelago, but are politically separate from the independent country of Solomon Islands. Historically the region was known as the North Solomons. (Full article...)

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Piper methysticum leaves
Piper methysticum leaves

Kava or kava kava (Piper methysticum: Latin 'pepper' and Latinized Greek 'intoxicating') is a crop of the Pacific Islands. The name kava is from Tongan and Marquesan, meaning 'bitter'; other names for kava include ʻawa (Hawaiʻi), ʻava (Samoa), yaqona or yagona (Fiji), sakau (Pohnpei), seka (Kosrae), and malok or malogu (parts of Vanuatu). Kava is consumed for its sedating effects throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia, and some parts of Micronesia, such as [Pohnpei & Kosrae]. Kava can be used for medicinal purposes to treat anxiety.

The root of the plant is used to produce a drink with sedative, anesthetic, and euphoriant properties. Its active ingredients are called kavalactones. A systematic review done by the British nonprofit Cochrane concluded it was likely to be more effective than placebo at treating short-term anxiety. (Full article...)
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