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Archived updates for Friday, August 05, 2005

TGIF for the Newest PCT Contracting State

Saint Kitts and Nevis became the 128th Contracting State of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) when it deposited its instrument of accession at WIPO on July 27, 2005. The Treaty will enter into force for Saint Kitts and Nevis on October 27, 2005 and the new country code: KN will automatically be designated as Saint Kitts and Nevis will be bound by Chapter II of the Treaty

First settled by the British in 1623, the islands became an associated state with full internal autonomy in 1967. The island of Anguilla rebelled and was allowed to secede in 1971. Saint Kitts and Nevis achieved independence in 1983. In 1998, a vote in Nevis on a referendum to separate from Saint Kitts fell short of the two-thirds majority needed. Nevis is once more trying to separate from the Saint Kitts.

The island has a population of over 45,000 made up of mostly freed African slave descendants. The main language is English, and the literacy rate is approximately 98 percent. Residents call themselves "Kittitians." The capital of the two-island nation is the city of Basseterre, also its largest port city.

Sugar was the traditional mainstay of the Saint Kitts economy until the 1970s. Although the crop still dominates the agricultural sector, activities such as tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking have assumed larger roles in the economy. Tourism revenues are now the chief source of the islands' foreign exchange. The opening of a 470-room resort in February 2003 was expected to bring in much-needed revenue.

The country is known for a number of musical celebrations including Carnival (December 24 to January 2). The last week in June features the St Kitts Music Festival, while the week-long Culturama on Nevis lasts from the end of July into early August. In addition, there are other festivals within the island of St.Kitts. There is Inner City Fest in February in Molineaux Green Valley Festival usually around Whit Monday in village of Cayon, Easterama around Easter (April) in village of Sandy Point, and Fest-Tab around July-August in the village of Tabernacle just to name a few.

The most well-known kind of traditional music is probably seasonal Christmas songs, though there also chanteys and other songs. Music is also a part of the Tea Meetings which are common on the island, featuring a pair of stentorian male singers in a competitive kind of performance in which hecklers play an important role.

Discover St. Kitts . . . .
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