New Caledonia Searches
Authorities in New Caledonia have officially launched a quest, by way of a public contest, in order to identify what is locally referred to as "identity symbols", namely a national anthem, a motto and a design for its future banknotes reports Oceania Flash.
Those symbols are part of an autonomy path set out in the 1998 autonomy Nouméa Accord.
The Accord was signed by both pro-French and pro-independence parties, as well as the French government.
For the first time, the preamble of the Accord also recognised the identity of New Caledonia's Kanak, indigenous people.
The public contest was launched two weeks ago and entries and submissions are scheduled to close at the end of February.
The competition is open to all residents of New Caledonia
It allows for the usage of both French and Kanak indigenous languages.
After that date, a so-called "identity signs steering committee" (officially formed in April 2007) will select hat they will regard as the successful entries and make recommendations to the local government.
The Nouméa Accord contains such notions as "common destiny", "power sharing" between the French Pacific territory's main ethnic groups (the descendents of French settlers, known as the "Caldoche" and the indigenous Kanaks).
But the public competition does not concern as yet the other two future identity signs of New Caledonia, generally regarded as the most sensitive ones: the name of a future independent New Caledonia and its flag.
Instead, New Caledonia's government, has decided leave the difficult task of debating the touchy issue to the "identity signs steering committee".