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Thursday 23rd May
Greenland Information - Page 2
The first people arrived in Greenland around four to five thousand years ago crossing the frozen sea from Canada.

Erik the Red, a Norwegian who had been banished from Iceland, discovered Greenland in 982. He named the island Greenland and started a settlement in 986.

The Norse population had disappeared by the sixteenth century and expeditions came from England, Norway and Denmark.

A Danish colony was founded in 1721. Colonial status ended in 1953 when Greenland became part of Denmark.

Self-government was granted in 1979 and in 2008 Greenlanders voted in favour of more autonomy.

Transport between urban areas is by air or sea. Greenland does not have a railway or roads connecting towns and cities.

Greenland has traditionally been dependent on fishing and fish exports are still important today. Greenland became a member of the EU when Denmark joined in 1973 but withdrew in 1985 in a dispute over fishing quotas.

Subsidy from Denmark also makes a major contribution to the economy.

Agricultural products are forage crops and garden and greenhouse vegetables. Sheep are reared.

Industries are hides and skins, handicrafts, small shipyards and fish processing. Ice and fresh water are exported. Natural resources include gold, diamonds, iron ore, niobium, tantalite and uranium. Oil and gas exploration is in progress.

Tourism is a growing industry. (2011)

The Katuaq Cultural Centre, in Nuuk, hosts art exhibitions, concerts, theatre performances and other events. Greenland's National Museum, also in the capital, is the country's main history museum. Museums are found in most towns.

The snowmobile, which has taken over from dog sledge, is used extensively for recreation.

The Inuit kayak is also used for sport. Sailing is a method of transport as well as a leisure activity.

Fishing is another traditional pursuit.

Alpine skiing facilities and cross-country ski runs are available.

Christmas and New Year are celebrated. National Day on 21st June is the longest day of the year.

News from Greenland is available from Newslink.

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