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French Poynesia - People

Remains testify of the ancient Polynesia. Thus, the marae are temples of stones in the form of pyramids with degrees, with an enclosure. Each noble family (the ari'i) possessed its marae. Some have been preserved and restored, such as the Arahurahu marae, in the commune of Pa'ea in Tahiti.

The most beautiful marae are those of Maeva on the island of Huahine in the Leeward Islands and especially that of Taputapuatea in Raiatea which is the subject of a procedure of classification by UNESCO to the world heritage of mankind. The Marquesas are characterized more by their tiki, colossal statues of stones that haunt the forests and also large Marae called pae pae.

The Polynesians are a people of the sea. This holds a place of choice in the culture but also in the sports activities. Thus, canoe races are highly prized and give rise to great competitions. Surfing (invented by the ancient Polynesians) is also practiced on the spots of Teahupo'o (site of the Billabong pro), Taharu'u, Papeno 'o or Ta'apuna on the island of Tahiti.

Polynesian culture has inspired many artists such as the painter Paul Gauguin (two museums dedicated to him in Papeari and the Marquesas), writers Jack London, Herman Melville and Victor Ségalen, who lived in Tahiti, the singer Jacques Brel, who Rests in the Marquesas in the same cemetery as Paul Gauguin, the explorer Paul-Emile Victor.

Polynesian culture is a thousand years old. Today, it is expressed in numerous activities such as song (oratorical oratory, rauti tama'i), music, dance, crafts (tressage, tapa ...), tattooing, traditional sports (Canoes, carry of stone ...), surfing ...

There is no single Polynesian language. If French is the official language, Tahitian remains a very common language. Other languages exist in different archipelagos (Marquesan language, Australes, Tuamotu-Gambier). The Hakka language is used by the Chinese of Tahiti. The Polynesian languages all share the same strain and are linguistically a branch of the Malayo-Polynesian family, which ends up in Madagascar.

Pursuant to Article 6 of the French Polynesia Autonomy Act No. 96-312 of 12 April 1996, primary and secondary education falls within the competence of the local government, the post-baccalaureate and Higher education than that of the State. French Polynesia has 236 primary schools (nursery and primary schools and special education) and 99 secondary schools. For the 2007 school year, there were 42,188 pupils enrolled in primary education, 33.845 pupils.

The school calendar is not exactly the same as the Métropole, due to the climatic specificities: the holidays are shorter (about 50 days) in favor of Christmas holidays (about 1 month). But the state guarantees the national value of diplomas. In addition, French Polynesia has full competence in educational matters. It is the town halls which take the inscriptions, which are generally made around the month of May. French Polynesia offers a varied educational system with institutions in all areas.





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