|Conventional name||Svalbard or Spitzbergen|
|Language||Norwegian and Russian|
|Religion||Norwegian church Protestants.|
|National Anthem||"Ja, VI Elsker Dette Landet".|
|Places to Visit|| Hornsund, Isfjord, Kongsfjord, Ny Ålesund, Krossfjord, Danes' Island/Danskøy, Woodfjord Wijdefjord and Nature Reserves,.
||Transport||Airways : There are regular flights from Tromsø and Oslo throughout the week; Longyearbyen Airport is the main airbase; Waterways : boats are available during the summers and takes 2-3 days from Tromsø. Between June and August there is a weekly ship from Tromsø; Ports : Barentsburg, Longyearbyen, Ny-Alesund and Pyramiden||Shopping||outdoors clothing, sleeping bags, boots, camping goods, hunting knives, stationary and postcards, stamps and other woolens .|
The first word translates as "cool", while the latter means "edge"; so literally the name of the islands translates as "cold edge".Apart from the Russians and the Norwegians, who, it is likely, discovered the island long ago - around the 12 th century; the first recorded "discovery"was made by a Dutchman called Willem Barents, in the year 1596. The Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands are the most sparsely populated regions in Norway. At one time, between the years 1612 and 1720, it also played a huge role in the whaling trade. The Polar Department of the Ministry of Justice now administers the Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands.
Location of Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
The Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands is an archipelago located within the territory of Norway. They lie to the north of the mainland of Europe, off the coast of Norway to the northwest of it. In fact, it is located between Norway and the North Pole. The water bodies that surround it are Arctic Ocean, Norwegian Sea, Greenland Sea and Barents Sea.
Physical Map of Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
The Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands is an archipelago comprising of some nine main islands and fjords. The Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands has an arctic landscape: with rugged ice-capped mountains, glacial deposits, snowfields and fjords. The most important mountains are Ceresfjell, Chadwickrygg, Newtontopp, Galileotopp and Perriertopp. Not only are they the chief mountains of the archipelago, they are also concrete examples of glacial erosion. It is also the "land of the midnight sun"; as the sun does not set between the 20 th of April and 23 rd of August. Also, the "polar night"phenomenon occurs between the 26 th of October and the 15 th of February.
Climate of Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
The climatic conditions in the Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands can be branded as arctic. However, the North Atlantic Current blowing across it tempers the chill, giving the islands a pleasant climate in the summers. So, summers are pleasantly cool, with an average barometer recording of 5°C; while the winters are cold, with temperatures dropping as low as -12°C.
Flora and Fauna of Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
The Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands has an Arctic habitat and so the kind of flora and fauna to be found in the region is typical of the Arctic region. However, there is a considerable number of flowering plants in the Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands, the most common ones are Arctic bell-heather, Hawkweed-leaved saxifrage, Alpine bistort, Moss campion, Svalbard poppy, Woolly lousewort, Mountain sorrel, Purple saxifrage and whiplash saxifrage. Aside of these, vascular plants, algae, mosses and lichens are also to be found in abundance. The chief animals of the region are the field mouse, arctic fox, various species of seals, beluga, polar bears, minke whales, walrus, reindeer and reindeer. Birds in the Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands come in multitudinous varieties. However, most of them are of the sea faring breed. Their names are brunnich's and black guillemot, puffin, little auk, fulmar and kittiwake, arctic tern, skua, ivory gull and svalbard ptarmigan. There are also two breeds of song birds which are migratory they are the wheatear and the snow bunting.
Given that it was once a whaling hub, there were people from several ethnicities who filtered into the Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands to do business and make a living. With time many have become permanent residents of the islands. Hence there are people who are originally Russian, Dutch, Polish, Ukrainian, English and others. However, more than half the people in the Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands are Norwegian.
Arts, Culture and Music of Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
- Art : there is no specific art in the Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands as such. However, they have quite a tradition of making hunting knives and woolen garments and other commodities. In terms of visual and literary arts, most of the contribution originates from the Norwegian mainland.
- Culture : the culture of the Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands is quite intriguing. It is a composite culture featuring elements from several ethnic races and countries. Due to the whaling boom, people from several ethnicities filtered into the Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands. Hence the culture of the island is a medley of Norwegian, Russian, Dutch, Polish, Ukrainian, English and others. Of these, Russia, Ukraine and Norway are the chief cultural contributors.
- Music : the Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands have the same musical tradition as that of Norway. The claim to fame for the music in the Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands in the recent years is the Norwegian "Black Metal", which has become quite a rage outside the country in international circles.
The Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands use the flag of Norway as their official flag as the Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands are an offshore territory of the country of Norway. The flag has a rectangular shape and is dominated by the colors blue and red, with the color white featuring as an interlude. In fact the color scheme - of red, blue and white - is inspired from the flag of France, which is representative of liberty. In that way there is also American and British influence. The flag has a blood red back drop with a white Scandinavian Cross off its center and a blue Cross of Sweden superimposed on top of the white one. The cross in white is borrowed from the flag of Denmark.
Economy of Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
in these tiny Svalbard and Jan Mayen islands, hunting and mining, especially of coal, are the chief resources and viable activities. Coal is a major natural resource on the island, the chief industry and also the highest revenue bringing export commodity. The other minerals that are mined are zinc, copper, phosphate and small quantities of iron-ore. Hunting as an economic factor happens mostly for game and for fur. The primary game animals are seals, reindeers and foxes. The only other industry aside of the mining and hunting is that of fishing. The waters around the island housing a thriving marine life, fishing is plays a major role in the economy.