THE NI-VANUATU PEOPLE
Vanuatu is the home to a rich Melanesian culture full of tradition, magic and ritual, where more than 115 different dialects are spoken and each tribal group has its own identity, customs and artwork.
Vanuatu’s indigenous population, called Ni-Vanuatu, is comprised of many cultures, not just one. English and French are the official languages as a result of the countries’ colonial past, along with Bislama, a pidgin-English, which is the common language spoken by nearly all Ni-Vanuatu. Although there are similarities in culture, each cultural grouping has its own features, traditions and artwork.
Whilst the majority of the population is Christian, a small percentage (8%) still follow their indigenous beliefs, which are based on animism. Those of Christian faith are mainly Presbyterian, Protestant, Anglican and Catholic.
The Ni-Vanuatu are a kind happy people, and currently the country been named the happiest country in the Asia Pacific region and fourth happiest in the world. Authors of the index say one of Vanuatu’s strengths is that it prioritises family and community without needing to be consumer-driven.