Vanuatu Resorts | Vanuatu Islands | Vanuatu Holiday Accommodation
Page: Vanuatu Facts - Information about Vanuatu Islands, Bislama Language and Melanesia

Vanuatu Facts

Some facts about Vanuatu, its location, population and language

Originally named New Hebrides, Vanuatu is an island nation spread over 83 islands in South Pacific. The meaning of Vanuatu in the local, Bislama language is "raising land". The main administrative island is Efate island, home of Vanuatu capital Port Vila, the largest town in Vanuatu. The largest island is Espiritu Santo, mostly known as Santo island. Its centre Louganville is the largest town on the island and also the second largest town in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu was first sighted by Portuguese in 1606 and charted by Captain James Cook in 1774. It was under joint French and British control from 1906 until 1980, when it achieved independence. It is now known officially as the Republic of Vanuatu - or République de Vanuatu in French.

 

Vanuatu Paradise - video by Alcina Charlie, Vanuatu's local artist and performer, features beautiful images from Vanuatu - from Second Lagoon (Port Vila), Champagne Beach (Santo island), Port Vila and Sulphur Bays, to Mele Cascades, Blue Hole (Santo) and Eton Beach

Melanesia

Vanuatu archipelago is located in South Pacific, which is part of larger region of Melanesia. Melanesia itself is a sub-region of Oceania, which includes Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

The name 'Melanesia' comes from Greek, meaning "black islands". According to Wikipedia, '[t]he term was first used by Jules Dumont d'Urville in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia.'

Today this perhaps racial classification is known to be inaccurate, as Melanesians have great cultural, linguistic, and genetic diversity. Ni-Vanuatu people belong to Melanesians group, similar in appearance to Papuans. There are over 100 Ni-Vanuatu tribes, each with their own culture and language. Estimates of the number of local languages spoken in Vanuatu vary between 105 and 115.

Vanuatu is a member of Commonwealth (ex-British colonies) and also member of UN (The United Nations) since 1981.

images/Melanesia-region-map.jpg

Vanuatu is part of the Melanesian region, to which also belong Papua New Guinea,
Solomon Islands, Fiji and New Caledonia, with Coral Sea in its centre.

Vanuatu Population

Vanuatu is inhabited by Melanesian people, sometime referred to as Ni-Vanuatu. The term 'Ni-Vanuatu' denotes all people who are members of Melanesian ethnicity, originating in Vanuatu. The word 'Vanuatu' comes from local language and means 'our land forever'.

The overall population of Vanuatu is around 220,000, of which over 30,000 live in Port Vila, on Efate island. About 10,000 people live in Louganville, on Santo island.

Vanuatu's population is largely indigenous Melanesian - around 94%. The rest of population are European, Pacific Islanders and Asian. Europeans are generally Australian and New Zealand living expats, who have relocated to Vanuatu.

Although Vanuatu cultures have rich tradition and practice many customs (kastom), the predominant religion in Vanuatu is Christianity, which was brought over by the missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries. The largest Christian group are Presbiteryans, with Roman Catholics and Anglicans also well represented.

Vanuatu Language

The national language is Bislama, local pidgin. According to Wikipedia, pidgin is a simplified form of language that develops as means of communication between two or more groups of people who do not share a common language. Since Vanuatu has over 100 local languages, pidgin English, or Bislama is used widely throughout Vanuatu islands.

But despite Bislama being Vanuatu's national language, both English and French are official languages and widely spoken in Vanuatu. Bislama combines Melanesian grammar with mostly English vocabulary, spoken and written in a simplified, phonetic format. The first Bislama dictionary was published only recently, in 1995, while the second edition was published in 2004, according to Wikipedia.

Examples of Bislama phrases illustrate the simplified format of this language:

finis - finished
mas - must
nomo - no more
neva - never
ol - all, many of them
olgeta - alltogether, all of them
sapos - suppose, if

images/Vanuatu-Provinces.jpg

Vanuatu islands archipelago is divided into 6 administrative provinces, as seen on the above map. (Map credit: Wikimedia)

Vanuatu Provinces

Administratively Vanuatu is divided into 6 provinces since 1994. Those provinces are:

Malampa
Penama
Sanma
Shefa
Tafea
Torba

Shefa is the main province, where Efate island is located, with the capital of Port Vila. The largest island Santo is in Sanma province, while the third largest Malakula island is in Malampa province, as is Ambrym island. Pentecost and Maewo islands, known by Vanuatu custom of land dive, are located in Penama province.

Banks and Torres islands are in the most northern province of Torba, while the most southern province of Tafea covers the well known islands of Tanna and Erromango, as well as Aneityum. Read more about Vanuatu islands.

University of the South Pacific

Port Vila is also one of the University of the South Pacific centres, housing the Emalus Campus, the university's law school. The University of the South Pacific (USP) is the international centre for teaching and research on Pacific culture and environment. The university is owned by the governments of twelve Pacific Islands countries, including Vanuatu.

  Information about Vanuatu

images/Vanuatu-Provinces-120.jpg
Vanuatu Facts

images/Feast-night-dancers-120.jpg
Vanuatu Story

images/Vanuatu-string-band-120.jpg
Vanuatu Attractions

images/Tropical-Santa-120.jpg
Vanuatu Christmas
images/Qantas-airliner-120.jpg
Vanuatu Flights
images/Hill-view-of-Port-Vila-120.jpg
Vanuatu Relocation
images/Family-on-beach-120.jpg
Family Getaway
images/Efate-island-map-120.jpg
Island of Efate
images/Toucan-bird-120.jpg
Things To Do
images/Travel-document-120.jpg
Plan Vanuatu Trip
images/Pacific-Culture-Areas-120.jpg
South Pacific
images/String-band-playing-120.jpg
Visit Vanuatu

Home
Resorts
   Benjor Beach Club
   Blue Pango Motel
   Breakas Beach Resort
   Chantillys On the Bay
   Deco Stop Lodge
   Erakor Island Resort
   Hideaway Island Resort
   Iririki Island Resort
   Mangoes Resort
   The Melanesian
   Nguna Beach Resort
   Sunrise Bungalows
   Toa Palms Bungalows
   White Grass Ocean Resort
   Worawia Resort
Accommodation
   All Inclusive Packages
   Pango Green Motel
   Places to Stay in Vanuatu
   Tanna Bungalows
   Vanuatu Family Resorts
   Vanuatu Resorts Serenity
   Wellness Centres
Activities
   Backpacking Vanuatu
   Best Diving Spots
   Car Rentals Vanuatu
   Duty-Free Shops
   Fishing and Cruises
   Golfing in Vanuatu
   Horseback Riding
   Snorkeling Vanuatu
   Surfing in Vanuatu
   Vanuatu Diving
   Vanuatu Fishing
   Vanuatu Sailing
   Wedding in Vanuatu
Attractions
   Annual Swims Vanuatu
   Bluewater Island Aquarium
   Cascades Waterfall
   Ekasup Village
   Eton Beach
   Land Dive Pentecost
   Outer Islands Vanuatu
   Port Vila Golf and Country Club
   Underwater Post Office
   Vanuatu Volcanos
Entertainment
   Casinos in Vanuatu
   Nightlife of Vanuatu
   Vanuatu Festivals
   Vanuatu Weddings
Port Vila
   Port Vila About
   Port Vila Attractions
   Port Vila Cafes
   Port Vila Duty Free
   Port Vila Markets
   Port Vila Restaurants
   Port Vila Snorkeling
   Port Vila Town
   Port Vila Vacation
Vanuatu
   Vanuatu Facts
   Vanuatu Story
   Vanuatu Attractions
   Vanuatu Christmas
   Vanuatu Flights
   Vanuatu Relocation
   Family Getaway
   Island of Efate
   Things To Do
   Plan Trip to Vanuatu
   South Pacific
   Visit Vanuatu
Vanuatu Activities
Vanuatu Guide
Vanuatu Islands
   Island Hopping
   Popular Islands
   Ambae Island
   Ambrym Island
   Aneityum Island
   Bokissa Island
   Efate Island
   Emae Island
   Epi Island
   Erromango Island
   Espiritu Santo
   Inyeug Island
   Lelepa Island
   Malekula Island
   Nguna Island
   Pentecost Island
   Tanna Island
Vanuatu Nightlife
   Kava Tasting
   Melanesian Feast
   Vanuatu Bars
   Vanuatu Nightclubs
   Vanuatu Restaurants
   Vanuatu Casinos
   Australia Top Casinos
   South Pacific Casinos
Vanuatu Tours
   Diving Excursions
   Efate Tours
   Fishing Charters
   Pele Island Tour
Vanuatu Banking
   Banks and ATMs
   Banking in Vanuatu
   Currency Exchange
Photo Galleries
   Cascades Waterfall
   Feast Night gallery
   Port Vila photos
   Vanuatu photos
   Resort gallery
   Worawia Floorplans
   Christmas Greetings
Resort
   Worawia
   Facilities
   Floorplan
   Bungalows
   Family Bungalow
   Bungalow 2
   Bungalow 3
   Bungalow 4
   Lodge
   Rates
About
Bookings
Contact
Downloads
Guestbook
Submit Articles
Updates
Videos
Newsletter
   The Travel Bug
   Newsletters Map
   Newsletter Downloads
   ESTA Report
Archive
   2005 Archive
   Travel Bug 1
   Travel Bug 2
   Travel Bug 3
   Travel Bug 4
   Travel Bug 5
   Travel Bug 6
   Travel Bug 7
   Travel Bug 8
   Travel Bug 9
   2006 Archive
   Travel Bug 10
   Travel Bug 11
   Travel Bug 12
   Travel Bug 13
   Travel Bug 14
   Travel Bug 15
   Travel Bug 16
   Travel Bug 17
   Travel Bug 18
   Travel Bug 19
   Travel Bug 20
   Travel Bug 21
   Travel Bug 22
   2007 Archive
   Travel Bug 23
   Travel Bug 24
   Travel Bug 25
   Travel Bug 26
   Travel Bug 27
   Travel Bug 28
   Travel Bug 29
   Travel Bug 30
   Travel Bug 31
   Travel Bug 32
   Travel Bug 33
   Travel Bug 34
   2008 Archive
   Travel Bug 35
   Travel Bug 36
   Travel Bug 37
   Travel Bug 38
   Travel Bug 39
   Travel Bug 40
   Travel Bug 41
   Travel Bug 42
   Travel Bug 43
   Travel Bug 44
   Travel Bug 45
   Travel Bug 46
   2009 Archive
   Travel Bug 47
   Travel Bug 48
   Travel Bug 49
   Travel Bug 50
   Travel Bug 51
   Travel Bug 52
   Travel Bug 53
   Travel Bug 54
   Travel Bug 55
   Travel Bug 56
   Travel Bug 57
   Travel Bug 58
   2010 Archive
   Travel Bug 59
   Travel Bug 60
   Travel Bug 61
   Travel Bug 62
   Travel Bug 63
   Travel Bug 64
   Travel Bug 65
   Travel Bug 66
   Travel Bug 67
   Travel Bug 68
   Travel Bug 69
   Travel Bug 70
   2011 Archive
   Travel Bug 71
   Travel Bug 72
   Travel Bug 73
   Travel Bug 74
   Travel Bug 75
   Travel Bug 76
   Travel Bug 77
   Travel Bug 78
   Travel Bug 79
   Travel Bug 80
   Travel Bug 81
   Travel Bug 82
   2012 Archive
   Travel Bug 83
Travel links
Other links

Home
Resorts
Accommodation
Activities
Attractions
Entertainment
Port Vila
Vanuatu
Vanuatu Activities
Vanuatu Guide
Vanuatu Islands
Vanuatu Nightlife
Vanuatu Tours
Vanuatu Banking
Photo Galleries
Resort
About
Bookings
Contact
Downloads
Guestbook
Submit Articles
Updates
Videos
Newsletter
Archive
Travel links
Other links
Link to us
Privacy Policy