The island of Mauritius acclaimed for its togetherness attracts our visitors. From his youngest age, the Mauritian learns to respect his neighbour of different cultures. A richness which amazes many. Coming from diverse backgrounds, the cultures intertwine. The feasts are celebrated in harmony with those who do not necessarily share the same beliefs. Churches rub shoulders with temples, mosques and pagodas….
Hence, for Diwali, Festival of lights, the descendants of Indentured labourers, willingly share their ladoos, samosas, sweet potato cakes with their neighbours of other origins. It is not rare to find many decorating their houses with small “diyas” (oil lamps made from clay) even if they do not necessarily celebrate Diwali. Those of Christian faith, will have a special thought for those around them, by sharing “gateaux Marie” (A cake with the image of the Virgin Mary that can only be found in Mauritius) or other local sweets for the Assumption Day or Easter.
Our Muslim friends cannot celebrate Eid each year, without offering those around them Biryani (Spicy rice full of oriental flavor), whereas everyone will wait impatiently for the Sino-Mauritian to celebrate Spring festival, so as to enjoy the Dragon dance in the neighborhood, and taste the Chinese delicacies. Within this melting pot, there are holidays celebrated by all such as Christmas and New Year.
Even if the Sega (typical Mauritian music) brings together all Mauritians, each culture likes to practice their own traditional Indian, Chinese or Tamil dances, same for the ancestral songs and dances during the Hindu weddings…
Discovering each culture is so captivating…. The different funeral rites as per each belief, those of weddings, baptisms for a few… the different religious fasting where we respectfully encourage each other. Thaipoosam Cavadee, a Tamil festival with its bright colours and rituals by a river, the Mahashivratri pilgrimage (Hindu festival) that culminates at the Grand Bassin sacred lake, the one of the Blessed Father Laval (Catholic feast) that leads to Sainte Croix, amongst others, attract Mauritians of all faiths each year.
At every street corner, one can hear us speaking in Creole, Urdu, Bhojpuri to each other …. and it is with great pride that we will also be addressing you in French, English, or other languages and we will eagerly tell you about the rich diversity of our people.
Welcome to the crossroad of cultures!