The national motto is Long God Yumi Stanap ("In (or with) God We Stand/Develop").Leaders of the Vanua'aku Party, which governed during the nation's first eleven years, came mostly from the central and northern areas.Still, all the citizens distinguish themselves from European colonialists as they assume their national identity.Since independence, the French have provided aid in periods when the country has been ruled by Francophone political parties.
Cooking is done in fireplaces or lean-to kitchens outdoors.
After independence, the government erected several public buildings, including a national museum, the House of Parliament, and the House of Custom Chiefs.
These buildings incorporate slit gongs and other architectural details that display the cultural heritage.
Alongside Bislama, English and French are recognized as "official languages." These languages overlie one hundred five indigenous Austronesian languages, three of which are Polynesian in origin.
There are strong links between local language, place, and identity, but many people are multilingual.