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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Pacific Islands Of Micronesia > Federated States Of Micronesia

Federated States Of Micronesia History, Language and Culture

History of Federated States Of Micronesia

The Federated States of Micronesia became a US-administered Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in 1947. This followed successive colonisation by the Portuguese, Spanish and Germans, and latterly Japanese rule between the two World Wars, under a mandate from the League of Nations (a forerunner of the United Nations). In November 1986, the Federated States signed a Compact of Free Association with the USA, allowing for near-independence with US defence support. Admission to and support from the South Pacific Forum – an association that groups Australasia with the smaller Pacific island nations – has been particularly valuable. Other than political matters, successive governments – including the present administration of Premier Leo Falcam, elected in 1999 – have been pre-occupied with the economic situation, as the Federated States suffer from remoteness and lack of industry and infrastructure. There is some development potential, particularly in the fishing and fish-processing industry, but Micronesia has some way to go before it ceases to be dependent on aid from the USA, which amounted to US$1.3 billion between 1986 and the end of the last century. In 1991, the Federated States of Micronesia were admitted to the UN.

Federated States Of Micronesia Culture

Religion in Federated States Of Micronesia

Mostly Roman Catholic (50%), Protestant (47%) and other Christian denominations (3%).

Social Conventions in Federated States Of Micronesia

There are considerable variations of custom and belief. Approximately 95% of Kosreans are Congregationalists with a deeply held respect for Sunday as a day of rest. Pre-European influences are stronger elsewhere and nowhere more so than in Yap where visitors are only allowed with prior permission. Use of islands, paths, beaches etc may also require permission in many areas; it is best to check beforehand.

Photography: Permission should always be sought. Though people are friendly, and usually accommodating, not to seek prior permission before taking pictures is considered an insult, especially on some of the more remote islands.

Language in Federated States Of Micronesia

English; Micronesian languages, including Chuukese, Kosrean, Pohnpian and Yapese, are widely spoken.