The Union of Comoros became the 16th member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) after the island nation was admitted to the regional bloc at the 37th Ordinary Summit held in South Africa last year. President Azali Assoumani will represent the nation at the 38th SADC Summit of Heads of State and Government in Windhoek, Namibia, from 17 to 18 August, after its full admission as a member to the regional bloc. The 1,862 square kilometer nation boasts a population of 849,579 (0.01% of the world population).
Interesting facts about the Comoros
The Comoros Islands is the perfect destination to get away from it all, as it is very remote and removed from normal reality since it is an archipelago off the east coast of Africa. It has many beautiful beaches, but for the more adventurous, there are also rainforests and mountains to hike. If you are up for it, you can also check out Mt Karthala, the largest active volcano in the world. As an archipelago, the Comoros has Swahili culture with French and Arabic influences due to the travellers and traders that had passed through the islands. It is quite slow-paced and laid back, which is ideal for relaxation, but getting there is a challenge for the impatient and adventurous travellers.
- Comoros is located at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel. The country is situated around two-thirds of the way between northern Mozambique and northern Madagascar.
- The country’s islands are mostly volcanic with interiors that range from low hills to steep mountains.
- The islands of Comoros have on one side the Indian Ocean and the Mozambique Channel on the other. It is the Mozambique Channel that separates Africa from the country of Madagascar.
- Comoros is the second-largest producer of vanilla in the world. It is second only to Madagascar.
- The country is the largest producer of ylang-ylang, which is an ingredient used for making of fragrance oils.
- Mahore is an island in the Comoros archipelago. The island of Mahore in the Comoros is popularly known by its French name - Mayotte. The interiors of Mahore also attract the nature-loving tourist. The central part of Mayotte is mountainous and is a source of freshwater streams. The seasonal attractions of Mahore include the Humpback whales that visit the area from August to September.
- Mwali is the smallest major island in the Comoros archipelago. The island is known for its unspoilt beaches and its friendly population. The mountainous interior reveals the wonders of the equatorial tropics. The Indian Ocean island of Mwali in the Comoros is one of the few places in the world where the ‘dhow’ is still built. The dhow is a kind of sailboat. Most of the dhow-building activity is concentrated on Fomboni beach.
- Ngazidja is the largest island of the Comoros archipelago. It is also the island where the Comoros capital city of Moroni is located. Ngazidja is also known as Grande Comore Island. The principal attraction of the island of Ngazidja in the Comoros is the active volcanic mountain known as Mount Karthala. Other attractions of Ngazidja Island in the Comoros include the Vendredi Mosque. The mosque is located close to the port. Ngazidja Island also has a few hot sulphur springs.
- Moroni city. The city itself is a charming urban settlement of colonial design and broad boulevards. The narrow winding streets of Moroni have a unique charm of their own.
- Mount Karthala is the highest point in the Comoros and lies on Grande Comore Island. Frequent eruptions have shaped Mount Karthala into the caldera. The mountain consists of evergreen forests, which is the habitat of various rare species of flora and fauna in the Comoros.
- The Nouvelle Mosquee de Vendredi is a mosque in the Indian Ocean country of Union of the Comoros. The Vendredi Mosque is noted for its unique Comoran architectural style. The Nouvelle Mosquee de Vendredi in the Comoros is situated in the country capital Moroni. The Vendredi mosque is used to hold daily prayers. Visitors to the mosque may enter the mosque in order to observe the internal architecture of the structure.
Historical and cultural facts about Comoros
- Comoros was frequented by travellers from Africa, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Arabia before the first Europeans encountered the islands. Arabic influence has been the strongest. The presence of Islam is recorded as early as the eleventh century.
- With the arrival of Muslim Arabs, chiefdoms evolved into sultanates in the fifteenth century.
- It is thought that early inhabitants of the Comoros islands were people of Malaysian and Polynesian origin. Colonists also came to the islands from Madagascar, the African mainland and the Middle East.
- The Portuguese arrived in the islands in the early sixteenth century.
- Domoni, located on the eastern shore of the island of Nzwani (Anjouan), for example, was described as a major trading centre in the fifteenth century. It had trade contacts with Africa and Asia and we know from archaeological evidence that trade existed between the community and places as far away as Japan.
- After the Portuguese entered the Indian Ocean many European and American sailors visited the islands. These included whalers, merchants, and pirates, such as the infamous Captain Kidd. Sailors especially liked the island of Nzwani and it served as an important refuelling and provisioning stop.
- The most conspicuous social statement in the Comoros is the Grand Marriage. Any man who wishes to be a full-fledged member of the community’s group of elders, or Notables, must marry off at least his eldest daughter in a Grand Marriage.
- Maternal uncles can also give a Grand Marriage for nieces. This highly expensive, multi-ceremony event lasts more than a week. Families save for it for years and can spend their life savings on providing meals and other celebrations for the entire village.
- Comorians eat mostly imported rice, usually with a fish or meat sauce. Plentiful local fish (tuna, barracuda, wahoo, and red snapper) are the main source of protein. Cassava is eaten fried, boiled, or grilled. Taro, green bananas, breadfruit, and potatoes (both white and sweet) are often served. Chicken, goat, and imported beef are popular meats. Pork is forbidden by Islam.
- Comorians spice their foods with putu, a hot pepper sauce.
- Comorian youth organise village dances. Musical tastes are diverse; people enjoy Western popular music and reggae, as well as traditional dance music. ‑ Source: http://factsking.com/countries/comoros/