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Culture, People & Language

Story: Culture, People & Language
Episode: 1
Presenter: Trevor Cochrane
Air Date: 15th November 2020

Trevor visits the largely unknown tropical paradise of the Cocos Keeling Islands to learn about the people and their culture.

  • The Cocos Keeling Islands were first discovered by William Keeling in 1609, who described them as uninhabited.
  • They were settled in 1826 by the English adventurer Alexander Hare, who brought his harem of 40 Malay women with him and started a coconut plantation.
  • Scotsman John Clunies-Ross arrived on the islands a year after Hare. He changed the commercial nature of the plantations, causing Hare to leave.
  • The British took possession of the Cocos Islands in 1857, before granting ownership to the Clunies-Ross family.
  • The Clunies-Ross family relinquished their authority over the islands to Australia in 1978.
  • The Cocos Keeling Islands is now one of the Indian Ocean Territories of Australia, along with Christmas Island to the north.
  • The Twilight Market on Home Island is the best place to experience the islands’ rich Malay culture.
  • Soak up the stunning coastal scenery and immerse yourself in Malaysian customs and cuisine.

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