Kalaallit Nunaat - Greenland

The first word, kalaallit is the plural form of kalaaleq, which means 'Greenlander'. The second word, Nunaat, means 'country'. In old sources the name inuit nunaat, Country of the inuits was used. Greenland is the norse name which Erik the Red gave the country around 985.


Greenlandic flag

The Greenlandic flag was introduced in 1985, designed by the Greenlandic artist, Thue Christiansen. The flag shows the symbol of the rising sun over the polar ice, which stands for the return of the light and heat at midsummer. The colours, red and white like the Danish national flag, are chosen to express Greenland's relations to Denmark and Scandinavia.


Greenland and the Faroe Islands are part of the Kingdom of Denmark. All three areas have the Danish Royal Family, the Constitution, foreign policy, defence and the judicial system in common. Both Greenland and the Faroe Islands have two seats in the Danish parliament. Each of the three areas has its own language and its own flag. Both Greenland and Faroe Islands have Home Rule.


Church and religion

The established church in Greenland is the Danish National Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1993 Greenland became an independent Home Rule administered diocese with its own bishop. 
There are other religious communities and sects, including the Catholic Church, the Adventist Community, the Pentecostal Movement and its ramifications, the Bahai Community, Jehovah's Witnesses and others.


By Greenlandic law, greenlandic is the official language. Greenlandic and danish language may be used in politics and administration. Kalaallisut, Greenlandic belongs to the East-inuit family of languages and is a polysyndetic language, which means that the meaning-forming sentence elements used in other words are fused into one word which may stand for a whole sentence. Danish is used extensively. English is the third language.


Nature and Environment

Flora and fauna are determined by the Arctic climate. The vegetation is characterised by an absence of trees. However, in sheltered valleys in South Greenland there is rock birch, mountain ash, alder and willow scrub. Grain cannot ripen in Greenland.

The overall vegetation is low rock and tundra plants: mosses, lichen, heather, crowberry etc. In North Greenland most rocks are bare or with a low vegetation.

Our existence has always depended on wildlife, mostly marine wildlife. Together with more than 200 species of fish there are several marine mammals: 5 seal species, walrus and 10-15 whale species. Terrestrial mammals include arctic fox, arctic wolf, caribou, polar bear, musk ox, collared lemming and mountain hare. The large bird population include about 50 breeding species, of which almost 50 % are summer resident birds.

Pollution is non-existent. There is no polluting industry, and the surface water is safe all over Greenland.

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