As a starting point, we will guide you through this detailed section where you will learn more about the Mauritian culture and its population. The country is in fact one of the most peaceful and diverse country around the world. It is indeed a multicultural, multilingual and multi-ethnic society where nearly all people live harmoniously as “one people “and as “one nation”. Furthermore, it is made up of different ethnicities and the ancestors mostly come from continents such as Africa, Asia (India and China) and Europe. Nowadays, Mauritius promotes the sharing of a unique mosaic of culture and values, and Mauritians do participate collectively in different festivals.
The flag of Mauritius
In 1968, Mauritius became an independent country and was free from the British colony. Consequently, a new flag was selected and it is now known as the “Four Bands” or “Les Quatres Bandes” in french language. The flag is a unique one and has four horizontal band of different colours which are (from top to bottom): red, blue, yellow and green. Each colour on the quadricolour has a special signification and this makes the pride of all Mauritians.
In the 1950s after the stroke of the malaria disease, the Mauritian population started to increase as more people were coming to establish in the country. Nowadays, statistics show that there are approximately 1.2 million of people who live in Mauritius.
Moreover, the population is a unique blend of ethnicities and it consists nearly of two third of Indian (highest minority) where the majority of them are the descendants of the indentured labourers who came to work in the sugar estates. Consequently, around one quarter of the population is made up of Creole and finally there is a small amount of Franco-Mauritian and Chinese.
Following a growth in the Mauritian economy during the recent years, Mauritius does attract foreigners to relocate as well. There are several facilities and opportunities which help them to do business in Mauritius, live with their family or to retire. Furthermore, there has a been increase in the amount of Expats living on the island during the last decade. Generally, most of them come from France, United Kingdom and South Africa.
Below is a breakdown of a basic demographic analysis of Mauritius with an approximate percentage amount of population from different origins.
Mauritius is a multiracial country with various cultural heritages and religions. Each religion has its own traditions, festivals and belief in the society. It also teaches individuals how they should live and helps them to build values such as respect, love, empathy and peace.
Furthermore, the Mauritian culture illustrates that its population lay stress on the importance of religion within the society and hence holy places can be found in different locations on the island.
- Churches : Roman Catholic, Protestant, Adventist and Anglican.
- Hindu and Tamil temples.
Those spiritual sanctuaries promote and spread the worldwide message of peace and harmony to their believers. As shown below, the pictures are illustrations of some holy places in Mauritius that you may visit someday.
Mauritian Cuisine has a mixture of both oriental and occidental styles (African, European, Indian and Chinese). Whether it be the local snacks which include ‘Gato Pima’ (oily cakes), ‘Mine Bouillie’ (boiled noodles), ‘Boulette’ (small dumplings), ‘Dhal Puri’ (yellow split peas flatbread), ‘Bouillon Wantan’ (chinese soup with chicken dumplings) these street foods are really enjoyed by most Mauritians. In addition, French cuisine has a strong influence and has become really famous in Mauritius and very often French ‘gateaux’ (pastries) are also served as desserts.
The ‘Chinatown’ culinary festival takes place annually where Chinese are gathered and sell various traditional foods including ‘Mine Frit’, ‘Riz Frit’ and ‘Char Siu’ (chinese bbq pork) on the streets or in restaurants. Furthermore, many shows and entertainments are performed on this day. Performances such as karaoke, chinese dragon dance and dances attract tourists as well as Mauritians.
Indian and Creole Cuisine
Indian Cuisine forms part of the Mauritian culture moreover in Hindu wedding, guests are invited to eat the famous ‘7 Cari’ with their hands and during a Muslim wedding, a beef ‘Briani’ will be served as the main meal. Creole Cuisine is mostly known as ‘Manzer Lakaz’ (homemade food) where foods such as ‘Rougaille Poisson Salé’, ‘Touffé Brède’, ’Fricassé Lentilles’ and accompanied with ‘Achard’ (pickles) are served with hot rice.
Popular drinks such as ‘Alouda’ (Mauritian milkshake), ‘Jus Limon’ (Lemon Juice) or ‘Jus Tamarin’ (Tamarin Juice) are really appreciated by either visitors or Mauritians when they go to the ‘Bazar de Port Louis’.
Due to the fact that Mauritius has a heritage of various cultures and traditions, most Mauritians are billingual and and some trillingual as well. Mauritian Creole or the Kreol Morisyen is the local language mainly spoken by nearly all the population (around 90%) in their homes and in informal situations. It is a French-based Creole language that slaves developed during the 16th Century. Most songs especially the ‘Sega’ are written and sung in Creole by.
French is another language that individuals usually speak in schools, in the workplace that is in a formal situation. Furthermore, English is the main (official) language that is used the National Assembly (parliament). It is also a compulsory subject in all schools. Languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Bhojpuri, Telegu, Urdu, Arabic and Cantonese are widely spoken too mostly by elders.
Horse racing is probably one of the most famous sport in the island. Mauritians and even foreigners do enjoy this exciting activity. On racing days, the atmosphere is energetic and thrilling at some stage. It is the place where people delved into the betting world and you could notice the excitement of the crowd when the horses reach the finish line.
The ‘Mauritius Turf Club’ at the ‘Champs de Mars’ is a popular race track which was in 1812 and is apparently the oldest race track in the Southern Hemisphere and making it the second oldest in the world. Consequently, the season for the horse racing normally begins in March and finishes in the first weekend of December.