Sunday, July 10, 2022

Travel the World - Comoros

I started a 50-week series in 2019 that I called Travel the World. Each week of the series I visited a randomly-selected country, sharing bits of information about that country. I then chose one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. As I explored those 50 countries in 2019, I knew I would continue on until I've visited every one of the 195 countries in the world. By the end of 2021, I'd virtually traveled to 145 countries and plan to complete my journey to all 195 countries by visiting the last 50 this year.

This week's country is...


The nation of Comoros actually consists of three different islands.

The interiors of the islands vary from steep mountains to low hills.

Comoros is located in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and the eastern coast of Africa.

It is not an overly large country ranking only 170th (out of 195) in the world in regards to land area.

Comoros is neighbor to Madagascar, Tanzania, Seychelles, and Mozambique.

The name “Comoros” is derived from the Arabic word Qamar which means “moon”.

Comoros is Africa’s third-smallest country by area and Africa’s fourth-smallest by population.

The coastline of the Comoros islands are 211 miles in length.

Comoros is known as the “Perfume Isles” due to their fragrant plant life, particularly that of the ylang-ylang flower.

In fact, Comoros is the world’s largest producer of ylang-ylang, supplying around 80% of the world’s ylang-ylang flowers which form the base of the famous perfume Chanel No 5.

The largest island is called Ngazidja and is where the Comoros capital city of Moroni is located. There is an active volcano on the island called Mount Karthala. This volcano is the highest point in all Comoros.

Most of the Comoros islands are volcanic. Some of the volcanoes are very small, while others are large and steep.

Lac Sale, or Salt Lake, is a salt-water lake in Comoros. It fills what appears to be an old crater. This lake is considered a "sacred place by the locals," said to have healing properties from its high salt content.

The national dish of Comoros is Langouste a la Vanille – grilled lobster in a creamy vanilla sauce.

Comoros is one of the least populated countries in the world. However, it is comparatively densely populated based on its size. There are less the one million inhabitants in the country of Comoros, but there is an average of 275 inhabitants for every 710 square miles.

Houses in Comoros are made of dark basalt plastered with coral lime, cob (mud mixed with straw from rice plants), and braided coconut fronds. Cement is slowly replacing stone, while sheet metal replaces braided coconut fronds. A typical house has two rooms, one private and one for to receiving visitors, and sometimes a living room. The courtyard is used for domestic activities. Boys sleep in bachelor quarters. Women dominate in houses, indoor courtyards, and alleys. Men's territory includes mosques and public squares.

The entire country of Comoros has a police force of five hundred (500) officers. There is also a small standing army.

The Nouvelle Mosquee de Vendredi is a mosque situated in the capital city of Moroni. The mosque is noted for its unique Comoran architectural style.

unique thing about Comoros is that instead of one official language, it has three. these languages are French, Arabic, and Comorian.

Most of the islanders work as farmers or fishermen, while a few raise cattle, sheep, goats, and donkeys. A small number work in industry or in jobs relating to tourism. The Comoros Islands are very poor and underdeveloped.

Agriculture is the most important for livelihood in Comoros. Subsistence farming and fishing fulfill the necessities of Comoros citizens.

Comoros is second only to Madagascar when it comes to vanilla production making it the second-largest vanilla producer in the entire world.

The islands of Comoros have three main exports. These are cloves, vanilla, and perfume essence.

Comoros imports rice and other foodstuffs, consumer goods, petroleum products, cement and transport equipment.

The basic diet of Comorians consists of rice, potatoes, corn, fish, coconuts, and bananas. 

Comoros has 146 different bird species. As for mammals, the population is restricted to bats and marine mammals. This is caused by volcanic activity.

The Comorian islands of Anjouan and Mohéli are the only place in the world where you can see the endangered Livingstone fruit bats. Their wingspan reaches 4.9ft and they live in small colonies high up in the mountains.

The island of Mohéli is a significant turtle nesting site. 

Scuba diving and snorkeling are very popular in Comoros. This is because Comoros is home to one of the world’s biggest coral atolls which contains manta rays, whale sharks, large turtles, coral, shells, and hundreds of species of fish.

There are over 500 endemic plant species in Comoros.

Comoros is one of the least visited countries in the world, only receiving around 28,000 tourists in 2017 (the latest available data).

Comorians know two kinds of weddings: the Petit Mariage (small wedding) and the Grand Mariage (grand wedding). While the first is a regular Muslim wedding, the latter is nothing short of a spectacle spanning a length of up to 2 weeks. Such weddings can easily cost upwards of 40,000 USD, yet the average yearly income in Comoros is merely 1,200 USD.

Any man who wishes to be a full-fledged member of the community’s group of elders, or Notables, must marry off at least his eldest daughter in a Grand Marriage.

Comoros is one of 27 countries that does not have a single UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, it does have four properties on the Tentative List of sites to be submitted for nomination.

Comoros has been participating in the Olympic Games since 1996 but is yet to win its first medal. Comoros competes primarily in athletics and swimming but has also sent out an athlete in weightlifting.

Comorians greatly admire music, art performances, and skillsets like pottery, sculpture, basketry, and embroidery.

There is one school of higher education in the capital. Students must go abroad for training, often at their own expense, because scholarships are scarce.

The birth of a child is considered a divine blessing. A child is always held by adults or by its brothers and sisters. Children are rarely scolded, though rowdiness is sometimes criticized.

With regards to etiquette in Comoros, one has to greet and respect his or her elders regardless of their social standing. A woman cannot go out if she does not have a head veil. The wife and the children eat their meals in the kitchen, while the husband eats in the living room or at the dining table, where he can invite a friend or a parent.

The Comoros authorities have a tight hold on the media in the country. Journalists risk arrest and detention, and newspapers have been suspended and radio stations put off the air over reports deemed offensive to the government.

My inspiration for this week's card is based on this fact about Comoros... Crops commonly grown in Comoros include sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, and pineapples.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Paper: Accent Opaque 120# White, Recollections Black, and SU Crushed Curry and Old Olive CS and DP from my scrap file

Ink (for blending): SU Always Artichoke and Delightful Dijon

Dies: Gina K Master Layout 1, MFT Stitched Rectangles, Paper Roses Layered Hello, Paper Roses Stitched Circles, and SU In the Tropics (pineapple)

Embellishments: Amazon Nail Art Rhinestones


kiwimeskreations said...

Thanks for your post Jeanette - I never even knew Comoros existed, and you have given a fabulous review of these three small islands. Love your pineapple card - that is fabulous
Maxine said...

You are such a wealth of information. Cute card too.