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Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

World  (tags: Falkland Islands, Isla Malvinas, people, places, travel )

- 1617 days ago -
The Falkland Islands is an archipelago or a cluster of about 700 islands located near South America.

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Kit B (276)
Monday December 16, 2013, 8:41 am
Map Credit: English online

Culture Name:



Identification. The British named the two islands after the naval officer Viscount Falkland.

Location and Geography. The Falklands, located approximately 185 miles (480 kilometers) east of Argentina, consist of two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, and over two hundred smaller islets. The combined area is 4,700 square miles (12,170 square kilometers). The terrain is mainly hilly to mountainous grassland. Shrubs abound, but there are no native trees. An impressive diversity of animal life includes elephant seals, sea lions, penguins, and other birds.

Demography. As of the year 2000, there was a population of 2,826 permanent residents, of whom 1,750 lived in the capital, Stanley. The majority are of British descent, although there are a few immigrants from South America, Chile in particular. At any given time, there are about two thousand British military personnel.

Linguistic Affiliation. English is both the official language and the language of daily life.

Symbolism. The coat of arms, which appears on the flag, contains a representation of the sailing ship Desire, which was the first to reach the islands, and a white ram symbolizing shepherding, the industry on which the economy was built.

History and Ethnic Relations

Emergence of the Nation. It is thought that Patagonian Indians may have reached the islands by canoe, but when the Europeans encountered the islands in the seventeenth century, they were uninhabited. The British landed in 1690 and claimed the islands. The first settlement was by the French, at Port Louis on East Falkland in 1764. Spain soon after pressured the French to leave, and in 1767, forced the British out of a settlement on West Falkland. Argentina claimed the islands in the late 1820s, and the British reclaimed them in 1833. In the late 1800s, sheep ranching brought some wealth, and the British declared the islands a colony in 1892. Although the Argentinian were forced out in 1833, they did not abandon their claim. In the late 1960s, Britain began to make moves to hand over the colony to Argentina. However, the process was slow, and in 1982, Argentina's government staged an invasion. Britain sent troops to retake the islands. The ensuing war took nearly one thousand lives (three-quarters of them Argentinian), and after seventy-two days, Argentina surrendered and its president resigned. Argentina's government holds to the conviction that it will retake the Falklands, although it declines to use military force to back up its claim.

National Identity. There is no indigenous culture; the population is entirely imported and mainly British. Despite historical ties to Argentina, most inhabitants align themselves with Britain. Since the war in 1972, they have been developing a relationship with Chile.

Urbanism, Architecture, and the Use of Space

There is a low population density, with the majority of people living on farms and ranches in rural settings. Stanley is the only urban center. Its architecture is British in character.

Food and Economy

Food in Daily Life. Food is very similar to British cuisine in terms of ingredients and preparation. A common tradition, called the "smoko," is a midmorning tea or coffee break. Large "camp breakfasts" are popular, especially in rural areas. Seafood is an important part of the diet.

Basic Economy. The currency is the Falkland Island pound. There is no unemployment, but much of the work is seasonal, such as peat cutting and sheep shearing, and many islanders supplement their incomes with small-scale mechanical and agricultural projects.

Commercial Activities. The main goods produced are agricultural. In addition to sheep products (wool, hides, and meat), the islands grow vegetables such as potatoes, cabbages, and cauliflower.

Major Industries. Until recently, sheep shearing and wool processing was the major industry. This business was incorporated in the Falkland Islands Company in 1851, included in the British Royal Charter. The fishing industry has grown rapidly as a result of the government's declaration of the Falkland Islands Interim Conservation and Management Zone (FICZ). Between 1985 and 1987, gross national product tripled.

Trade. The primary products produced for export are wool, hides, and meat. The main imports are food, drink, building materials, and clothing. The major trading partners are the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Japan.

Political Life

Government. The Falklands are governed as a colony of the United Kingdom. The highest political official is the governor, who is appointed to represent the British monarchy. Along with an Executive Council of six, the governor is responsible for administration. The Legislative Council is composed of two ex-officio and eight elected members. There is universal suffrage. There is a Supreme Court, the chief justice of which is a nonresident.

Leadership and Political Officials. There are not any political parties; all officials run as independents.

Military Activity. Roughly half the population consists of British personnel; two thousand troops are stationed at the Mount Pleasant airport complex.

Child Rearing and Education. Education is free and compulsory from age six through age fifteen. There is a primary school and a secondary school in Stanley, as well as three settlement schools on farms in rural areas. Students who do not attend these schools are home-schooled with the aid of traveling teachers and radio and telephone lessons.

Higher Education. There are not any institutes of higher learning, but citizens are eligible to receive funding for vocational and higher education classes in Great Britain.


Religious Beliefs. The vast majority of the population is Anglican.

Medicine and Health Care

The King Edward VII Hospital in Stanley is the only hospital. It was destroyed by a fire in 1984 and rebuilt in 1987. The care provided is free and comprehensive, with the exception of eyeglasses, dentures, and cosmetic dentistry.

Secular Celebrations

Annual sports meetings take place in Stanley on 26 and 27 December; on West Falkland they are held in late February or early March. They include horse racing, bull riding, and sheepdog trials. Also observed are the Queen's Birthday (21 April), Liberation Day (14 June), Falklands Day (14 August), and the Battle of the Falklands Remembrance Day (8 December).


U.S. State Department, Central Intelligence Agency. Falkland Islands, 2000.

Web Sites

Destination Falkland Islands, 2000,

Falkland Islands Government on the World Wide Web, .


Read more:

---5 Facts You Might Not Know About the Falkland Islands---

1) Port Stanley is the world's most remote capitol and the population ranges from 2110 to 3000, on days where cruise ships dock, the tourists greatly out number the residents. Although with over 500,00 sheep that populate the islands the humans are outnumbered 160 to one.

2) If you are visiting the islands and want to catch a movie you will have to go to the military base, it is the only one on the islands, along with the one prison that only has 13 cells in Stanley.

3) One of the local newspapers is called the penguin news, perhaps due to the Islands containing five different species of penguins.

4) Once known as kelpers due to the abundant amount of kelp the people from the UK who claim their status now are known as belongers.

5) Squid is the main source of income for the Falkland Islands, which may have been one of the reasons for the war between Argentina and the United Kingdom. The licenses given to the fishing fleets are very expensive and an easy source of income for London.

Kit B (276)
Monday December 16, 2013, 8:44 am

Yes, I do realize there is a lot of political controversy about the Falkland Islands, but as with so countries our visit is just to learn about people, and places of our world. If we did a political tour, I would focus on the political problems. In fact, I urge to you learn more about each place we tour from our homes.

John De Avalon (36)
Monday December 16, 2013, 10:17 am
Lovely! Thank you for posting.

Ben O (171)
Monday December 16, 2013, 12:06 pm
Yet another surprise; -I've never been there, but pretty close: Buenos Aires, where I've been twice...

Barbara K (60)
Monday December 16, 2013, 2:33 pm
Thanks, my friend, for another great vacation via computer. Just beautiful.

Nicole W (646)
Monday December 16, 2013, 2:35 pm
another wonderful tour dear Kit

Past Member (0)
Monday December 16, 2013, 5:45 pm
Thanks 4 a lovely getaway Kit!

Vallee R (280)
Monday December 16, 2013, 6:28 pm
Wonderful - all I remembered was that short war in 82 I believe = loved the seals necking.

Walter F (128)
Monday December 16, 2013, 7:38 pm
Kit thanks for posting interesting tour..Britain's victory in that conflict proved that although she may longer be great ,she still believes in greatness.

. (0)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 6:11 am
Great travel video, Kit. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 2:34 pm
Thanks again Kit.

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 3:09 pm
Thanks. I have not heard about Falkland Island since Margaret Thatcher.

marie C (163)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 4:38 pm
Thanks Kit very interesting
Well said Boods Foo I have to admit sometimes in the Blair era I had my doubts about where we were going but I am sure now after much struggle we can try and rebuild our nation

Aletta Kraan (146)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 4:44 pm
Thanks , beautiful !!

Colleen L (3)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 4:49 pm
Very interesting. Thanks Kit

JL A (281)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 6:16 pm
looked warmer than MN--thanks!

Hartson Doak (39)
Tuesday December 17, 2013, 8:07 pm
Go now! They are going to allow BP to drill for oil in these islands.

Marija M (29)
Wednesday December 18, 2013, 6:14 am
thank you for "cheap" holidays, Kit

Pat B (356)
Thursday December 19, 2013, 5:05 pm
I would be spending my days with the wildlife,taking pictures, and taking nature walks all over the place.Whew.!! I almost missed the flight, but got through okay. So enjoyed this visit, Kit. Thank you.

Melania P (122)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 1:45 pm

Klaus Peters (14)
Monday January 13, 2014, 10:48 pm
There is Oil , that is why the UK changed their mind to give it back to the rightful owners and had the Falkland war with big help from the USA. As it is stated, BP will be drilling soon, another catastrophe like the Gulf?
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