Two Falkland Islanders in 2003
|Regions with significant populations|
|English (see Falkland Islands English)|
Falkland Islanders, also called Falklandersand nicknamed Kelpers , are the people of the British overseas territory of the Falkland Islands.
The Islanders are British, albeit with a distinct identity of their own:
British cultural, economic, social, political and educational values create a unique British-like, Falkland Islands. Yet Islanders feel distinctly different from their fellow citizens who reside in the United Kingdom. This might have something to do with geographical isolation or with living on a smaller island – perhaps akin to those British people not feeling European. (Lewis Clifton OBE, Speaker of the Falklands Legislative Council)
They also see themselves as no different from other immigrant nations including those of neighbouring South America:
We are as much a people as those in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Chile and many other South American countries whose inhabitants are of principally European, Indigenous or African descent. (Councillor Mike Summers OBE)
Kelpers is a nickname given to Falkland Islanders because the islands are surrounded by large seaweeds called kelp.
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.
|Population pyramid 2006|
|2000||Treasury of the Falkland Islands Govt estimate||2,826|
With retrospective effect from 1 January 1983, as provided in the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, the Falkland Islanders have been full British citizens.
About 70 percent are of British descent, primarily as a result of Scottish and Welsh immigration to the islands.The native-born inhabitants call themselves "Islanders"; the term "Kelpers", from the kelp which grows profusely around the islands, is still used in the Islands. People from the United Kingdom who have obtained Falkland Island status are known locally as 'belongers'.
A few Islanders are of French, Gibraltarian, Portuguese and Scandinavian descent. Some are the descendants of whalers who reached the Islands during the last two centuries. There is also a small minority of South American, mainly Chilean origin, and in more recent times many people from Saint Helena have also come to work and live in the Islands.
The most predominant religion is Christianity, of which the primary denominations are Church of England, Roman Catholic, United Free Church, and Lutheran. Smaller numbers are Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists and Greek Orthodox; with the latter being due to Greek fishermen passing through.[ citation needed ] There is also a Bahá'í congregation. The islands are the home of the Apostolic Prefecture of the Falkland Islands.
The official language of the islands is English.The Falklands English vernacular has a fair amount of borrowed Spanish words (often modified or corrupted); they are particularly numerous, indeed dominant in the local horse-related terminology. For instance, the Islanders use ‘alizan’, ‘colorao’, ‘negro’, ‘blanco’, ‘gotiao’, ‘picasso’, ‘sarco’, ‘rabincana’ etc. for certain horse colours and looks, or ‘bosal’, ‘cabresta’, ‘bastos’, ‘cinch’, ‘conjinilla’, ‘meletas’, ‘tientas’, ‘manares’ etc. for various items of horse gear.
There are more than 30 different sports clubs on the Falklands, including badminton, clay-pigeon shooting, cricket, football, golf, hockey, netball, rugby union, sailing, swimming, table tennis and volleyball.The Falklands compete in the Commonwealth Games and in the biennial Island Games. Louis Baillon is the only Falkland Islander to have become an Olympic champion, as a member of the British field hockey team which won a gold medal in 1908.
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The Falkland Islands is an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. The principal islands are about 300 miles east of South America's southern Patagonian coast, and about 752 miles from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, at a latitude of about 52°S. The archipelago, with an area of 4,700 square miles, comprises East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 smaller islands. As a British overseas territory, the Falklands have internal self-governance, and the United Kingdom takes responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs. The Falkland Islands' capital is Stanley on East Falkland.
Religion in South America has been a major influence on art, culture, philosophy and law. Christianity is the main religion, with Roman Catholics having the most adherents. Sizeable minorities of non-religious people and adherents of other religions are also present.
Falkland Islanders derive from various origins. Earliest among these are the numerically small but internationally diverse early 19th century inhabitants of the Falkland Islands, comprising and descended in part from settlers brought by Luis Vernet, and English and American sealers; South American gauchos who settled in the 1840s and 1850s; and since the late 1830s, settlers largely from Britain with a minority from other European countries. There has also been significant recent contributions from Saint Helena and Chile.
Falkland Islands English is mainly British in character. However, as a result of the isolation of the islands, the small population has developed and retains its own accent/dialect, which persists despite many immigrants from the United Kingdom in recent years. In rural areas, known as ‘Camp’, the Falkland accent tends to be stronger. The dialect has resemblances to Australian, New Zealand, West Country and Norfolk dialects of English, as well as Lowland Scots.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Falkland Islands:
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