Culture of Mauritius

Culture of Mauritius

The culture of Mauritius involves the blending of several cultures from its history, as well as individual native cultures.  Because of its complex history, Mauritius enjoys a wide and varied culture. Uninhabited until 1638 the island was first settled by the Dutch, under the Dutch East India Company. Named after the prince of Denmark, Maurice of Nassau. It was later overtaken by the French, who brought over slaves from Africa, specifically Senegal, Guinea, Mozambique, and Madagascar. The people of Mauritius are descended from European (mainly French) settlers. There is unity in being Mauritian, even though there is not a shared language or customs. Because of this Mauritius is often considered a global example of successful cultural integration.

Mauritius was formed due to volcanic activity that left a plateau in the middle of the island rising 671 meters above sea level. The centre can get up to 50o cm of rain a year. There are around 1.1 million people who live in Mauritius. Most of them live in the capital and largest city, Port Louis. With one of the highest population densities in the world, Mauritius places a high premium on housing. Hindus and Muslims tend to invest their life savings in to property. Many creoles rent in urban areas. Their unique architecture is known for sharp roofs, long balconies, and canopies. Many of the traditional creole houses have been replaced by newer materials and designs. The government, in recognition of the heritage of the older houses, has campaigned to save their designs. The original Franco-Mauritian families that were given land rights in French colonial times still own more then 50% of the sugar fields. and they form a small, privileged upper-class.  Large numbers of Indian planters own the remaining fields.

Most marriages in Mauritius happen within the same ethnic group. About 8% of marriages are inter-ethnic. Those couples who do marry outside of their ethnic group will normally take on a single identity for the sake of their children. Those children in turn will normally associate within that ethnic group and marry within it.  Marriage outside your  ethnic group risks your family’s disapproval and can occasionally lead to punishment, particularly as families often live together because of the high land costs.   Religious freedom is a major reason for peace in Mauritius and is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Hindus make up approx. 52% of the total population. Christians approx. 28% Muslims approx. 17%.

There is not an official language in Mauritius. Government and administrative work is written in English, the press use French, which is understood by more of the population than English. Most Mauritians understand a Creole language but there is no agreed-upon written form of this language, however, so it appears unlikely that this would be adapted as the national language.  The national identity of being a Mauritian is shaped early on in school and continues in the work place. The mixture of cultures forms the identity of Mauritius. With no characterising national or cultural features, the question arises as to whether Mauritius has its own unique culture, or whether one is now emerging.

Now you know a little more about the culture of Mauritius, now is the time to contact us to arrange your dream holiday

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *