Music from New Caledonia ( Melanesia)

Uploaded by  on Feb 17, 2009

Dick et Hnatr, a popular musical duo performs at the Mini festival of Melanesian Arts on Lifou, one of the Loyauté islands in Kanaky (New Caledonia); also singing in French, they are joined by young local fans singing along.


Languages and religion

Nouméa Cathedral, seat of theArchdiocese of Nouméa

The French language began to spread with the establishment of French settlements, and French is now spoken even in the most secluded villages. The level of fluency, however, varies significantly across the population as a whole, primarily due to the absence of universal access to public education before 1953, but also due to immigration and ethnic diversity.[59] At the 2009 census, 97.3% of people aged 15 or older reported that they could speak, read and write French, whereas only 1.1% reported that they had no knowledge of French.[60] Other significant language communities among immigrant populations are those ofWallisian and Javanese language speakers.

The 28 Kanak languages spoken in New Caledonia are part of the Oceanic group of the Austronesianfamily.[61] Kanak languages are taught from kindergarten (4 languages are taught up to the bachelor’s degree) and an academy is responsible for their promotion.[62] The four most widely spoken indigenous languages areDrehu (spoken in Lifou), Nengone (spoken on Maré) and Paicî (northern part of Grande Terre).[62] Others include Iaai (spoken on Ouvéa). At the 2009 census, 35.8% of people aged 15 or older reported that they could speak (but not necessarily read or write) one of the indigenous Melanesian languages, whereas 58.7% reported that they had no knowledge of any of them.[60]

The Roman Catholic Church claims half of the population as adherents, including almost all of the Europeans, Uveans, and Vietnamese and half of the Melanesian and Tahitian minorities.[20] Of the Protestant churches, the Free Evangelical Church and the Evangelical Church in New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands have the largest number of adherents; their memberships are almost entirely Melanesian.[20] There are also numerous other Christian groups and small numbers of Muslims.[20] See Islam in New Caledonia and Bahá’í Faith in New Caledonia.

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