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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.English is the language of interethnic communication, administration, government, trade and commerce, and education.These urban areas are Western rather than Oceanic in appearance, and Suva still retains much of its distinctively British-style colonial architecture, although Asians have influenced the nature of the city and all the ethnic groups trade in the central market.
Immigrants have accepted several aspects of the indigenous culture, but a national culture has not evolved.
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.