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July 2005 Vol. 31, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Yap, Post Typhoon

from the July, 2005 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Yap has been hyped for its thriving indigenous island culture; however, our modern society is rapidly encroaching. The monstrous typhoon in April 2004 inundated the island in flood waters, denuded the vegetation, destroyed buildings, ripped off roofs, and generally wreaked havoc with the infrastructure. Yap is in the “coalition of the willing,” so Uncle Sam arrived with a thick billfold.

Low interest loans and direct payments were given to rebuild homes and businesses, but sadly lots of money was diverted into new cars with purple running lights and sub-woofers. Boys strut about in do-rags and parachute pants, and young girls are wearing tight jeans and tee-shirts from the Gap. While I saw a loin-clothed farmer working a field and traditional dressed barebare- breasted women in the grocery store however this traditional culture is becoming one more American-based culture modeled after what the Yapese have seen on television.

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