- Angam Day
Angam Day is a
holidayrecognized in the Republic of Nauru. It is celebrated yearly on October 26.
The Nauruan word "angam" means: "jubilation", "celebration", "to have triumphed over all hardships" or "to have reached a set goal" or "coming home".
Angam Day is a day of celebration and a time of reflection for the Nauruan people. Twice in its history, the Nauruan population fell below 1,500, and the Nauruan ethnic group have been considered in danger of extinction. On both occasions the Nauruan population recovered. Upon eclipsing a population of 1,500, a number considered to be the minimum required for the survival of a race, Angam Day was declared. The first Angam was in
1932and the second occasion in 1949.
The first goal came about in
1919, just after World War I, when the war-time occupation of Nauruand other Pacific islands by Imperial Germanyended, and Nauru came under the mandate of Australia, New Zealandand Britain. Brigadier GeneralGriffith, the Australian Administrator, held a census. Later, in a meeting with local chiefs, he declared that the population of Nauruans was alarmingly low and that if the Nauruans were to survive as a race, the population should be no less than 1,500. It was declared that when the population of 1,500 was reached, that day would be called "Angam Day", would be a public holiday and would be commemorated every year thereafter. Furthermore, the babywho completed the set target would be the Angam Baby and would receive gifts and honour.
After thirteen years, the Nauruan population reached 1,500 to much jubilation and celebrations. The first Angam Baby was born on
October 26, 1932.It turned out there were to be more than one Angam. During the Japanese occupation of Nauru and other Pacific territories during WWII. 1,201 Nauruans were evacuated to Truk(now Chuuk). Of the 1,201 evacuees to Truk only 737 returned after the war, and of the about 600 left behind on Nauru, a total of around 400 survived.
The Angam girl, Eidegenegen Eidagaruwo, didn't make it back from Truk for she had died of
malnutritionand yawslike most of the other Nauruans who had died in Truk.
The aftermath of WWII showed the Nauruans that, to survive as a race, they would have to strive to increase their population for a second time. The race for a new Angam Baby was on.
March 31, 1949, the people of Boe celebrated when Bethel Enproe Adam was born to parents Kenye and Clarence Adam. Since then, the Nauruans have been able to celebrate Angam once again. Even though Bethel Enproe was born on a different date, October 26is still held as the official Angam Day.
History of Nauru
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