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French Polynesia Information - Page 2
Early European explorers in [French] Polynesia were the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English and French.

France made the islands a French Protectorate in the middle of the nineteenth century. Later, the Protectorate became a French Colony.

In 1946 the Colony status changed to a French Overseas Territory.

The colony status changed again in 2004 and French Polynesia became known as Overseas Lands of French Polynesia.

The largest percentage of French Polynesia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is derived from the services sector.

Tourism accounts for a significant proportion of the GDP.

The economy benefits from agreements with France aimed at social services and the creation of businesses.

Agricultural products are coconuts, fruits, vanilla, vegetables and coffee. Chickens and cows are reared and dairy products are produced.

Other industries are agricultural processing, pearl farming, deep-sea fishing and phosphates. (2011)

Arts and crafts in French Polynesia include carving and weaving. Tattooing is also a Polynesian art.

Traditional dancing is popular and performed by amateur and professional groups.

Paul Gaugin, the French Post-Impressionist painter, lived in French Polynesia and is known for paintings such as "Tahitian Women on the Beach" (1891).

Team games played in French Polynesia are football, rugby, basketball and volleyball.

Canoe racing is a traditional sport. Other water sports include swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing and water-skiing

Christmas, Easter and religious holidays are celebrated. Other holidays include New Year's Day - 1 Janauary, Labour Day - 1 May, and Bastille Day -14 July.

News from French Polynesia is available from Newslink.

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