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Britain believed that the islands could be economically self-sufficient through the establishment of sugarcane plantations but did not want to end the traditional way of life of the Fijians.
Naturalized European and part-European communities tend to mingle more closely with ethnic Fijians than with Indo-Fijians.
Most of Fiji's eighteen urban centers are on the two largest islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
Fijian and Hindi often are spoken at home and are used in religious contexts and on radio and television.
The indigenous languages belong to the Central Oceanic branch of Eastern Austronesian and are divided into eastern and western branches.
There are small populations of Europeans, Pacific Islanders, Rotumans, Chinese, and persons of mixed European-Fijian ancestry. Fijian, Hindi, and English became the official languages after independence in 1970, and linguistic autonomy was guaranteed by the constitution of 1997.