Communication between the locals is generally done using Bislama. Many people in
the larger cities of Port-Vila and Luganville speak this language natively, but
elsewhere it is a secondary language used for communication. This language was created
when many people from Vanuatu traveled to
Australia or other countries and created this creole language that incorporates
English, French, and numerous languages of the South Pacific, most specifically
Melanesian languages. Today this is the most widely used language in Vanuatu and
it is similar to Tok Pisin (in Papua New Guinea)
and "Pijin" (in Vanuatu) as all three are creoles based on English and
Melanesian languages. Bislama differs from these other two languages in a number
of ways, primarily in the heavier use of French and the fact that most of the Melanesian
vocabulary is limited to local plants and animals.
Most of the over hundred local languages are Melanesian languages, but there are
an odd languages in the islands that are not Melanesian including Emae, Mele-Fila,
and Futuna-Aniwa. It is unlikely any of these local languages, other than Bislama,
have more than 10,000 speakers.
Just over 80% of the people in Vanuatu are Christian with
the Presbyterian Church being home to about a third of the population while the
Anglican Church and Catholic Church are each home to about 13% of the population.
About 6% of the people follow indigenous beliefs, including the "John Frum