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Subject: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: Zelek2 on 04/22/16 at 3:02 pm

What would you say are the most obscure countries? I'd probably have to say Pitcairn Islands, they have a population of 56 and they're in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (and they're mostly convicted child abusers, but that's another story...).

For some reason I enjoy learning about these little-known places, they're interesting to me.

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: 2001 on 04/22/16 at 5:09 pm

Fiji. It's in the middle of nowhere but still feels like a somewhat relevant country.

Same with Mauritius, except I've actually met a few people from Mauritius.

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: #Infinity on 04/23/16 at 2:34 am

A lot of African countries are completely obscure, especially those that are far inland. It seems like you hear almost nothing about Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Benin, Togo, or Guinea (not to be confused with Papua New Guinea).

Suriname is unique in that it's the only Dutch-speaking country in the Americas, yet it rarely makes national headlines, positive or negative.

The "Stans" of Central Asia are also obvious cases, with the exception of Kazakhstan.

Kiribati is the easternmost country of the South Pacific. In fact, the island of Kiritimati (aka Christmas Island) has lateral coordinates that are just east of Honolulu, Hawaii, not to mention it's north of the equator. It's also the only country with a UTC +14 timezone, except for Samoa during daylight savings time. Despite all of this, Kiribati seems to be one of the most forgotten Pacific Island nations.

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: 2001 on 04/23/16 at 8:42 pm


A lot of African countries are completely obscure, especially those that are far inland. It seems like you hear almost nothing about Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Benin, Togo, or Guinea (not to be confused with Papua New Guinea).

Suriname is unique in that it's the only Dutch-speaking country in the Americas, yet it rarely makes national headlines, positive or negative.

The "Stans" of Central Asia are also obvious cases, with the exception of Kazakhstan.

Kiribati is the easternmost country of the South Pacific. In fact, the island of Kiritimati (aka Christmas Island) has lateral coordinates that are just east of Honolulu, Hawaii, not to mention it's north of the equator. It's also the only country with a UTC +14 timezone, except for Samoa during daylight savings time. Despite all of this, Kiribati seems to be one of the most forgotten Pacific Island nations.


What's funny is that I hear about some of those countries, like Chad, Mauritania, Togo (they had an election last year) and a few others like Central African Republic, Burundi, Sierra Leone etc. all the time on the French news, but not so much on the English news. I think it's because French people keep an interest in French speaking African countries (France 24 has an entire segment "Le Journal de l'Afrique" everyday) that Anglophone countries don't for English speaking African countries.

I wonder if that ever goes vice versa... If there are countries English speakers are well aware of, that speakers of other languages are clueless about. I would guess a few of the Caribbean countries like the Dominican Republic or The Bahamas might qualify.

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: #Infinity on 04/23/16 at 9:02 pm

I wonder if that ever goes vice versa... If there are countries English speakers are well aware of, that speakers of other languages are clueless about. I would guess a few of the Caribbean countries like the Dominican Republic or The Bahamas might qualify.


Ironically though, Belize and Guyana, the only two mainland Latin American countries that primarily speak English (Panama does as well, but Spanish is still also pretty predominant) are nearly just as obscure as Suriname. The only notable things about them besides ther language, from my perspective, is that they're the only places on the mainland Western Hemisphere where homosexuality is illegal, something not exactly to be proud of.

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: KatanaChick on 04/25/16 at 3:24 am

For some reason tiny countries like Lichtenstein and Andorra would be interesting to see because you don't hear about them much. Greenland would be fun because even though people have heard of it and it's big enough, you also don't hear much about it. Islands in the ocean would be nice to see because I'd love to explore their environments!

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: yelimsexa on 04/25/16 at 6:34 am


For some reason tiny countries like Lichtenstein and Andorra would be interesting to see because you don't hear about them much. Greenland would be fun because even though people have heard of it and it's big enough, you also don't hear much about it. Islands in the ocean would be nice to see because I'd love to explore their environments!


The same with San Marino (one part of Italy and still surrounded by it and frequently mistakenly considered just a township within it), as well as the Mediterranean island nations Malta and Cyprus. The former has a very distinct culture despite being small later is a unique cross between a Greek and Middle Eastern nation.

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: Arrowstone on 04/25/16 at 10:41 am


Ironically though, Belize and Guyana, the only two mainland Latin American countries that primarily speak English (Panama does as well, but Spanish is still also pretty predominant) are nearly just as obscure as Suriname. The only notable things about them besides ther language, from my perspective, is that they're the only places on the mainland Western Hemisphere where homosexuality is illegal, something not exactly to be proud of.


I think Guyana is known because of its tie to outer space - whether it is a good place for telescopes or for rocket launching I can't remember -
Suriname is often on the Dutch news, but there is a large group of people from Suriname residing in the Netherlands.

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: 80sfan on 04/25/16 at 10:49 am

Barbados??

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: #Infinity on 05/02/16 at 5:39 pm

Another thing fascinating about Suriname is that the majority of its population is of Asian descent, with Indians, Chinese, and Javanese being the most heavily represented groups. It's quite common to see Hindu temples in Paramaribo. A large bulk of the country is also comprised of runaway African slaves. Mesoamericans hardly have any presence in the country whatsoever, with just 3.7% of the population being indigenous. Suriname is considered to be a Caribbean nation despite being on mainland South America.

Subject: Re: Nations that are obscure, yet unique, interesting?

Written By: 2001 on 05/05/16 at 5:46 pm


Another thing fascinating about Suriname is that the majority of its population is of Asian descent, with Indians, Chinese, and Javanese being the most heavily represented groups. It's quite common to see Hindu temples in Paramaribo. A large bulk of the country is also comprised of runaway African slaves. Mesoamericans hardly have any presence in the country whatsoever, with just 3.7% of the population being indigenous. Suriname is considered to be a Caribbean nation despite being on mainland South America.


I believe Guyana is similar. There's a sizeable Guyanese community in Toronto and they're mostly Indian and African descent.

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