Culture of Mauritius
Culture of Mauritius: I chose the culture of Mauritius because I saw a documentary about the isle some months ago and I was caught by the beautiful landscape as well as the amount of endemic plants and animals from the island. Mauritius is an island state in the southwest of the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. The capital city of the main isle is called Port Louis. The slogan of Mauritius is: “Stella clavisque Maris Indic'”. This is Latin and can be translated as “star and key of the Indian Ocean”.
Most of the people who live there come from India, but there are also ome from Europe or China. In Mauritius also live creoles who are former slaves from Madagascar and Africa. Therefore, a lot of different languages are spoken from Hindi to France. Nevertheless, English is the official language. There have never been natives in Mauritius. The first settlement took place in the year 1 505 by the Portuguese. They were followed by the Dutchman later by the French and the last occupiers were the Britain until the year 1968.
Since that year Mauritius is an independent country. The name Mauritius comes originally from the Dutch prince Moritz von Oranien. Because of the reason that Mauritius is one of the view African democratic countries where stability exist industry, finance and tourism started to move there. Besides the production of sugarcane the most important income derives from the tourism which increased the standard of living. Tourists may know some stamps Mauritius is famous for.
Especially the red and the blue Mauritius which are called the “Red Penny’ and the “Blue Penny’ are very seldom and valuable. Mauritius was the fifth country on earth that introduced stamps. The colonial and immigration history is reflected in the culture. There are a lot of different festivals during the year. Each festival refers to a celebration day of various cultures. The Chinese Spring Festival for example takes place between January and February.
At this time the Chinese celebrate their New Year with firecrackers and traditional wax cakes that are going to be distributed to relatives and friends. The colors are dominated by red, the Chinese symbol of happiness. There are also Hindu or Muslim festivals distributed throughout the year. The religions exist peacefully side by side and so the religious monuments do. Churches can be found next to a osque, Indian temples next to Chinese pagodas. In terms of cuisine the meals include different elements from China, France, India or from the creoles.
Especially the ties to the French and Indian meals are very strong. In example from France came “coq au vin” the Indians brought “curry and chutney’, with the Chinese rise, noodles or chicken became popular. Nowadays the meals have to mix each other’s cuisine to their liking. The production of rum out of sugar cane is one tradition that started during the Dutch colonization. Although Mauritius rum is not well known like its Caribbean ounterparts from Cuba or Jamaica, it is slowly gaining international knowledge and honor.
In terms of sport the Mauritians like football as well as rugby but the national sport still remains horse racing. It is part of the island’s cultural heritage and it goes back to the year 1812. Mauritius has the oldest racecourse in the Southern Hemisphere. Mauritians of all ages like to discuss races, share tips and place bets. Mauritians also like to dance. The typical native dance is called “Sega” accompanied by ravanne, a goat-skin covered drum or the triangle. This kind of dancing was developed from slaves and is a fusion of African music.