Monday, October 26, 2009

Angam Day, Nauru

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
The people of Nauru celebrate Angam Day to commemorate the birth of the 1,500th Nauruan citizen at the end of the epidemic in 1920s. The Nauruan word angam means: 'jubilation', 'celebration', 'to have triumphed over all hardships', 'to have reached a set goal' or 'coming home'.

Nauruans experienced a dramatic drop in population in 1920 due to the influenza epidemic. The total number of Nauruans decreased dramatically, reaching a level of only 1,068 people. This appalling 'demographic drop' caused fear for the continuing survival of community.

The effect of this flu on the Nauruans was most ravaging because the epidemic erupted in a population that was just recovering from another disaster, a dysentery epidemic. This disease had been brought to Nauru by Chinese laborers, for whom quarantine was not sufficiently enforced, and, in 1907, 150 died of dysentery.

The health situation was in a precarious state; beside the loss of people, there was debilitation, weakening those who had escaped death. After this catastrophe, it took twelve years for the population to again reach the level of 1,500.

It was not until October 26, 1932 that the 1,500th Nauruan – a baby girl called Eidegenegen Eidagaruwo, was born. There was a great celebration and the event was commemorated by declaring the day a public holiday, called Angam Day – because it had achieved the hope of all Nauruans ...

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