Greenland (about 80% ice covered) is the world's largest (non-continent) island, and it dominates the North Atlantic Ocean between Europe It is geographically considered part of the North American continent.
Its sparse population is confined to small settlements along the coastlines, with nearly one-quarter of the population living in the capital city of Nuuk.
The culture of Greenland has much in common with Inuit traditions, as the majority of people are descended from those indigenous peoples that inhabit the Arctic regions. People in Greenland today continue the Inuit tradition of ice-fishing and there are annual dog-sled races, however, fishing and hunting by traditional methods has been increasingly replaced by the use of firearms and modern technology.
First explored by the Vikings, and named by Erik the Red (982-985), this isolated land was initially settled by hardy souls from the nearby island of Iceland. Later, his son, Leif Erickson, returned to Greenland from Norway, and development continued...
Subsequently claimed by Denmark in 1380, Danish colonization began in the 18th century, and Greenland was made an integral part of Denmark in 1953.
It joined the European Community (now the EU) with Denmark in 1973 but withdrew in 1985 over a dispute centered on stringent fishing quotas.
Greenland was granted self-government in 1979 by the Danish parliament; the law went into effect the following year. Greenland voted in favor of increased self-rule in November 2008 and acquired greater responsibility for internal affairs in June 2009.
Denmark, however, continues to exercise control of Greenland's foreign affairs, security, and financial policy in consultation with Greenland's Home Rule Government.
So, Greenland is still considered a part of Denmark, and not recognized as an Denmark
Greenland's economy remains critically dependent on exports of shrimp and fish and on a substantial subsidy - about $650 million in 2009 - from the Danish Government, which supplies nearly 60% of government revenues.
Greenland for some is a tourism mecca as it offers unlimited spaces and challenges for anglers, hikers, kayakers and mountain climbers. In addition, dramatic glaciers are easily discovered.
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