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After their term of service, many remained in Fiji.

Some became merchants and business-people, others remained on the land as free peasant cultivators.

Depressed economic conditions in India caused most of those laborers to remain after their contracts expired, finding work in agriculture, livestock raising, and small business enterprises. Common citizenship, multi-ethnic institutions (some schools, colleges, the police force, civil service, civil aviation authority, etc.), an English-language mass media that caters to a multi-ethnic clientele, national sporting teams that attract intense following, and pride in the beauty and bounty of their oceanic homeland, are some of the factors that help to create a "Fiji Islands" national identity that surmounts the otherwise all-important ethnic affiliations. The principal ethnic groups— Fijians, Indo-Fijians, and people of mixed Euro-Fijian descent—intermingle with ease at the work place, in shops and markets, and in some educational and recreational settings, but interact much less freely at home.

Commercial, settler, missionary, and British colonial interests imposed Western ideologies and infrastructures on the native peoples and Asian immigrants that facilitated the operation of a British crown colony.

The indigenous name of the islands is Viti, an Austronesian word meaning "east" or "sunrise." Ethnic Fijians call themselves Kai Viti ("the people of Viti") or i Taukei ("the owners of the land").

Religion and domestic custom tend to cause greater division than does language.

But political aspiration is perhaps the greatest divisive factor, with indigenous Fijians demanding political paramountcy and Indo-Fijians, political equality.

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