COLONIA, Yap—Today, March 1st, 2022, is Yap Day. A legal holiday held annually on March 1st, Yap Day is a celebration of traditional Yapese culture. Famous within the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) for its unique quality of both emphasizing the best of modern society, including democracy and democratic principles, and the best of traditional society, including respect for others and the implementation of a fourth branch of Government (traditional leadership), Yap Day allows the People of the State of Yap to strengthen and promote their individual and communal identities as Micronesians.
Prior to Yap Day proper, His Excellency David W. Panuelo visited the Municipality of Weloy where he was invited to attend the opening of a new traditional house. The Chief of Weloy, James Manguon, and the People of Weloy, gifted the President a stone money as well as a shell money. The community placed the stone money, on behalf of the President, outside of the traditional house, and the President signed the shell money. Both the stone and shell monies will be located in Yap, and will serve as a remembrance of the President of the FSM—not David W. Panuelo himself and exclusively, but all FSM Presidents, past, present, and future.
While some Western financiers are quick to ascribe Yapese stone money as the first cryptocurrency, the FSM National Government rejects this claim on the premise that Yapese stone money is not merely a means of advancing one’s real and/or perceived wealth but is, rather, a demonstration of Yap’s unique Micronesian culture.
In addition to the placing and signing of the stone and shell monies respectively, President Panuelo joined with First Lady Patricia Edwin, Her Excellency Jo Cowley, Ambassador of Australia to the FSM, and the Honorable Benjamin Dille, Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States of America to the FSM, in planting the Tree of Life i.e. coconut trees outside the traditional house in Weloy.
In his remarks, President Panuelo solicited the support of Yap State to advocate to the FSM Congress that it would be culturally beneficial to the whole of the FSM for an exact replica of the traditional house to be built somewhere in the Palikir Capitol Complex.
The FSM National Government joins with the rest of the People of the FSM to collectively wish the People of the State of Yap a very happy Yap Day.