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(əro͞o`bə), island, autonomous part of the Netherlands (2015 est. pop. 104,000), 69 sq mi (179 sq km), in the Lesser Antilles off the coast of Venezuela. OranjestadOranjestad
, town and port (1991 pop. 20,045), capital and administrative center of Aruba, in the Lesser Antilles. Oranjestad is a tourist destination with hotels and fine beaches; most of the island's population is concentrated here. A historical and archaelogical museum are here.
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 is the capital and main port. The population is largely of mixed European and indigenous Caribbean descent. Roman Catholics make up more than 80% of the island's population. Dutch is the official language, but many Arubans also speak Papiamento (a Spanish-based creole with Portuguese, Dutch, and English elements) and English. Tourism, oil refining, and offshore banking are the economic mainstays of the island, although Aruba's refinery has been closed for extended periods since the mid-1980s. The reigning monarch of the Netherlands, the titular head of state, is represented by a governor-general. Aruba's government is led by a prime minister; its unicameral 21-seat legislature is popularly elected. The Spanish claimed Aruba in 1499. It fell to the Dutch in 1636 and since then, with the exception of a few years during the Napoleonic Wars, it has belonged to the Netherlands. Aruba was part of the Netherlands AntillesNetherlands Antilles,
former autonomous country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands consisting of several islands in the West Indies. Earlier known as the Dutch West Indies and Netherlands West Indies, the island country consisted of Bonaire and Curaçao, both lying off
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 until 1986 and is still linked with them economically.
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Official name: Aruba Capital city: Oranjestad Internet country code: .aw Flag description: Blue, with two narrow, horizontal, yellow stripes across the lower portion and a red four-pointed star outlined in white in the upper hoist-side corner

National anthem: “Aruba Dushi Tera”

Geographical description: Island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela

Total area: 112 sq. mi. (180 sq. km.)

Climate: Tropical marine; little seasonal temperature varia­tion

Nationality: noun: Aruban(s); adjective: Aruban

Population: 100,018 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: Mixed European/Caribbean Amerindian 80%, other 20%

Languages spoken: Dutch (official) 5.8%, Papiamento (Spanish-Portuguese-Dutch-English dialect) 66.3%, Span­ish, English

Religions: Roman Catholic 82%, Protestant and other Christian 8%, other (Hindu, Muslim, Confucian, Jewish) 10%

Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


an island in the Caribbean, off the NW coast of Venezuela, a dependency of the Netherlands with special status; part of the Netherlands Antilles until 1986. Chief town: Oranjestad. Pop.: 100 000 (2003 est.). Area: about 181 sq. km (70 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Other great dining options, all specialising in authentic Aruban and American dishes, are Opus, Papiamento Restaurant and Screaming Eagle Restaurant.
Building on this literature, this study on Aruban nationalism seeks to illuminate how antagonism within and amongst former colonies--in this case between Aruba and neighboring Curacao--could eclipse even the demand to reform bonds between metropole and colony.
Back on dry land, Aruban drivers are pleasant and courteous to pedestrians - you may even get some friendly beeps and waves from passing drivers.
You'll see everything from the island's lighthouse and nearby restaurant, the Alto Vista chapel, an ostrich farm, stone stacks (the Aruban equivalent of a wishing well) and a series of natural rock bridges.
Written texts, which are characterized by conceptual orality such as contributions to Internet Relay Chat (IRC) or to virtual guestbooks (meeting-points between the Antilles on the islands and the diaspora in the Netherlands), reflect the frequency and type of switches perfectly, for instance the following message by an Aruban individual: saw the webpage!
Along with Papiamento, Arubans speak English, Spanish and Dutch, but their legal system caused tricky translations.
Arubans proudly boast that no hurricanes have hit the island since 1934.
While relatively few culture-specific goods exist in Aruba, Arubans engage in conspicuous and luxury consumption to a greater extent than do expatriates at the same level of income.
The government has not yet successfully prosecuted any trafficking offenders to date, though the Aruban anti-trafficking coordinator has demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing the government's response to human trafficking during her short time in office, and the government initiated several complex prosecutions during the reporting season.
There is one dark cloud over recent Aruban history that needs a brief mention, however.
Prime Minister Nelson Oduber's People's Electoral Movement party won 43% of the vote and won 11 seats in parliamentary election, while the main opposition Aruban People's Party won 33% and now has eight seats in parliament.
On the rare occasion when something goes wrong and a tourist is involved, Arubans tend to lapse into their native language, Papiamento.