Mauritian culture: The language, the food, the history and the people (2023)

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Just a few steps awayfrom MadagascarThe subtropical island of Mauritius is filled with stunning scenery and jungle-fringed coastlines. Complete with lagoons, waterfalls, beaches and reefs, that's it too.Africa's safest country, home to a community of tolerant and welcoming locals. There are countless reasons to visit Mauritius, but the eclectic mix of cultures is a unique draw.

Mauritius belonged to the Dutch, French and British, but the first to visit the island were Arab and Malay navigators. With a diverse mix of languages ​​spoken across the country, the tumultuous history of occupation still lingers. But the dense and multicultural population makes Mauritius what it is today.

While it caters to well-heeled clientele with luxury resorts along its shores, there's culture and heritage around every corner. From fragrant cuisine, exceptional hospitality and communalism to the rare creatures that call the island home, this guide looks at everything that influences the Mauritian way of life. Let's get into it.

(Video) Who are the MAURITIANS? (People of Mauritius)

What language is spoken in Mauritius?

Mauritian culture: The language, the food, the history and the people (2)

With such a rich mix of nationalities inhabiting the island, the question of language is probably the first that comes to mind. Mauritian has five flexible ethnic categories: Indo-Mauritian, Mauritian French, Mauritian Creole, Afro-Mauritian, and Sino-Mauritian. There is no official dialect in Mauritius, but most locals speak Creole or Creole, around 86.5% to be precise.

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Mauritian Creole is a mix of Asian and African with a French influence. Residents of Indian origin with Hindi, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Tamil and Telugu roots make up the majority of the population at 68 percent. Although only around 27% of Mauritius residents are of Creole descent, most assume this is understood.lingua franca.

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There is no agreed written form of Creole, making it difficult to accept the language as an official mother tongue. Depending on the social situation, different dialects are also used in everyday life. Relationship with language says a lot about a society and language is closely related to context in Mauritius. English is associated with education, administration, hospitality and law, while French is associated with media broadcasts and newspapers.

French is also related to Mauritian etiquette, with people typically "Good morningE 'Good days' passing. But many people also speak the language of their origin. In addition to Indians, Africans and Franco-Mauritanians, the population is made up of three percent Chinese and two percent Europeans. Some Indian Mauritians can speak Bhojpuri, and the massive popularity of Bollywood means that many Mauritians, even outside the Indo-Mauritian community, can understand Hindi.

What food is Mauritius famous for?

Mauritian culture: The language, the food, the history and the people (3)

Traditionalafrican food cultureit is plentiful and varied and has greatly influenced many cuisines around the world. From simple corn and root crops to exotic spices and aromatic curries, Mauritian cuisine includes traditional African dishes, but with a rich mix of Indian, Chinese and French delicacies. At the same time, the island's national dishes embrace the sea, with smoked fish forming part of the diet of most Mauritians.

The basic ingredients of the Mauritian food culture include tomatoes, onions, aubergine, garlic, chilli, chayote and hearts of palm or okra. Stews and seafood-based curries make up a large part of the cuisine, with national dishes being crab curry, grilled squid and fish with coriander.

Also findVindaye OuriteEvindaye fishon most local menus. These curry stews are typically made with octopus (our), tuna steak or kingfish and comes from India. Another national favorite is the Indian-influencedDhol puri.These pea pancakes are traditionally grilledtawaand stuffed with bean curry, orbig pea curry,and the locally famousRougaille,a spicy tomato sauce with thyme, garlic and ginger.

While the country's Indian roots have a strong influence on the cuisine, Chinese food is not uncommon.momos ka baap,Mauritius's answer to dumplings, Chinese stir-fried noodles and fish cakes. Mauritian gastronomy also has elements of French"knows how to live"with dishes likestew, rabbit stew,Erooster in wineserved with fine wines in elegant resorts and five-star restaurants.

Complex colonial history and unique cultural diversity are reflected in restaurants across the country. Outdoor cooking, food sharing, and cooking techniques like pickling are common practices. Still, the best way to get a real taste of Mauritius is to embrace the street food culture with lots of delicious local dishes.sights PuriEMommy,readily available from local suppliers.

(Video) MAURITIUS: 10 Interesting Facts You Didn't Know

How are Mauritians known?

Mauritian culture: The language, the food, the history and the people (4)

Mauritius is home to a pluralistic society where various ethnic groups are present and the ancestral cultures of all residents have been preserved and accepted. The island's reputation for harmony and stability seeps into the values ​​of the locals, who are widely considered to be tolerant, friendly, communal and open to all. It is one of the few social success stories in Africa's turbulent interracial history that is reflected in general public opinion.

Mauritians are also relatively conservative and humble, and only people who behave inappropriately are looked down upon in society. The term 'wild'means wild in Old French and is used to refer to anyone who acts out of turn, such as B. Causing strife, dressing immodestly, smoking and drinking in the street, or being loud and argumentative. This is not universally accepted behavior for Mauritians, and most are in line with societal expectations to be more reserved.

However, the population is predominantly warm and welcoming, which often manifests itself in its tendency towards playfulness, exceptional hospitality and artistic expression. One of these branches is theSega,a traditional Mauritian folk dance that involves moving arms and hips to an Afro-Indian rhythmic beat. Once a confession of heartbreak during colonial times, now a display of joy and celebration. OSegait is a testament to the social and historical development of the country.

Religion in Mauritius

Mauritian culture: The language, the food, the history and the people (5)

Of Mauritius' 1.4 million people, a staggering number for the 2,000-square-kilometer island, about 48 percent are Hindu, 26 percent Roman Catholic, 17 percent Muslim and six percent non-Catholic Christians, including Seventh-day Adventists. seventh day, Anglicans, Protestant evangelicals and Jehovah's Witnesses. The remaining three percent are Buddhist, animist, Jewish or atheist. Religion is part of life for most Mauritians.

Mauritius is the only country in Africa where Hinduism is the most widely practiced religion in percentage terms and ranks third in the world, after Nepal and India, for having the highest number of Hindus. Hinduism came to Mauritius through the Indians who were employed as laborers after the abolition of slavery. Despite the significant Indo-Mauritian population, India never invaded Mauritius. Instead, in the 19th century, the British forced the ancestors of today's 70% of India's population to work on plantations and build ports.

OLegal frameworkin Mauritius supports religious and ethnic diversity. Racial discrimination is strictly prohibited and the law covers freedom of thought, belief, teaching, practice and even proselytizing. It is also illegal for courts to require oaths contrary to a person's religious beliefs, and there is no mandatory religious instruction or attendance at school ceremonies. Schools founded by religious groups are allowed, but these facilities are also open to the general public.

history of mauritius

Mauritian culture: The language, the food, the history and the people (6)

Mauritius was discovered by Arabs, Malays and Europeans in the early 16th century. When the second Dutch expedition to Indonesia set out in the 16th century, the eight-ship attack was met with bad weather. Three ships landed in Madagascar, the remaining five reached Mauritius. Used for nearly a century as a resting place for Dutch travellers, Mauritius began colonization in 1638, but the island was largely abandoned by 1710 as settlers struggled with hurricanes, droughts, pest infestations and disease.

(Video) Indian culture in Mauritius | Food | Hindi

Mauritius became a French colony in 1715, when Guillaume Dufresne d'Arsel took possession of the port island on his way to India. He called it the "Isle de France", but the French occupation did not start until six years later. The arrival of the French governor Mahé de La Bourdonnai led to the development of pepper, cinnamon and clove plantations, and Port Louis became a shipbuilding center and naval base for the French.

Pondicherry Indians arrived as laborers in 1729, and the island remained under the administration of the French East India Company until 1767. During French rule, slaves were purchased from Mozambique and Zanzibar, and by the early 19th century there were 60,000 people enslaved on the islands. Mauritius.

The British conquered Mauritius in 1810, but French remained the most widely spoken language. Mauritian Creoles can be traced back to plantation owners, and enslaved people made up the majority of the population. When slavery was abolished, the British bought Indian, Chinese, Malay and Malagasy workers to develop the country. While there was conflict between the Indian community and the French Mauritians over ownership of the sugar plantations in the 1920s, the rich mix of cultures that have inhabited the island for centuries has resulted in the diverse and harmonious place that Mauritius is today.

Mauritius gained independence within the Commonwealth on March 12, 1968. In the early years of liberation, Mauritius diversified its industries beyond sugar production and became the most prosperous country in Africa. Mauritius now has a developing mixed economy based on exports, financial services and tourism in addition to agriculture.

What do Mauritians eat for breakfast?

Rice is extremely important in Mauritian culture and is a staple in everyone's diet. As in many tropical nations, rice is a typical breakfast addition. A tasty breakfast meal for many Mauritians is smoked fish and rice, which have good nutritional benefits and are quite filling.

But Mauritians also opt for a sweet start to their day. Being a tropical island, exotic fruits are readily available and are often eaten with corn porridge. It is also not uncommon for spicy Indian curries to be eaten first, as well as French continental pastes in wealthier homes and hotels.

Is Mauritius safe to live in?

For locals and expats alike, Mauritius is proving to be a very safe place to live. The petty crime that occurs on the island is minor and non-violent, and it is the safest country in Africa. Mauritius occupies an even higher position in theGlobal Peace Indexthan many European countries. The central tourist areas and downtown Port Louis obviously have the highest crime rates, but expats live in harmony with the locals and are unlikely to become involved in crime.

(Video) BBC Travel Show - Mauritius (Week 11 - 2018)

Is Mauritius a poor country?

Mauritius has one of the most developed economies and highest employment rates in Africa. It is also the richest country on the continent, with an annual per capita GDP of over US$30,000, more than double the African average.

It was declared a high-income country in 2020, largely due to developed and prosperous tourism, peaceful society and harmonious cultures established over years of ethnic diversity. The high level of security and low taxes, including no capital gains and inheritance taxes, also appeal to retirees. Extreme poverty is rare in Mauritius, but the more rural areas are home to a minority of disadvantaged households.


What is the food and culture in Mauritius? ›

Mauritian cuisine is a blend of African, Chinese, European (mainly French) and Indian influences in the history of Mauritius. Most of the dishes and culinary traditions are inspired by French culture, former African slaves, and Indian workers and Chinese migrants arriving during the 19th century.

What is the culture and language of Mauritius? ›

There is no generally accepted official language in Mauritius; however, the vast majority of Mauritians speak Kreol (86.5%). The Kreol language is a mix of African and Asian languages, with influences from French. The majority of the population understands Kreol, making the language the lingua franca of the country.

What is the history of Mauritian people? ›

History. Mauritian Creoles trace their origins to the plantation owners and people who were captured via the slave trade and brought to work the sugar fields. Plantation owners were predominantly of European ancestry while the enslaved people mostly had ancestry from continental Africa.

What is the culture of the Mauritian? ›

Mauritius has a cosmopolitan culture. Co-existence among Mauritians of Indian, African, European and Chinese ancestry has led to a sharing of cultures and values, a collective participation in festivals and increased understanding between people of different backgrounds.

What language do Mauritians speak? ›

Mauritian Creole is a French-based Creole and estimated to be spoken by around 90% of the population. French is the language that tends to be used in education and media, while English is the official language in Parliament, however members can still speak French.

What type of food is Mauritian? ›

Mauritian cuisine is said to be sea-food heavy as it forms a major part in stews and curries and other dishes as well. Crab curry, coriander and chilli fish, fried squid, Vindaye ourite, Vindaye poisson and other seafood based dishes are a must-try.

How many languages do Mauritians speak? ›

The Mauritian Constitution makes no mention of an official language and its one million citizens speak English, French, Mauritian Creole, French-based Creole, and ethnic languages such as Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Urdu, Tamil or Mandarin.

What are the people like in Mauritius? ›

The people of Mauritius are descendants of European (mostly French) settlers, the Franco-Mauritians; African slaves and creoles, the Afro-Mauritians; Chinese traders, the Sino-Maurtians; and Indian laborers, the Indo-Mauritians. Such cultural diversity and geographic isolation have led to a nationalized sense of pride.

What is the language and religion of Mauritius? ›

The vast majority of the Mauritian Muslim population practise the Sunni sect of Islam. While most generally speak Hindi (the primary language of India) and Kreol, some Mauritian Muslims speak other Indian languages such as Bhojpuri, Gujarati or Urdu.

What are the people of Mauritius called? ›

The incredible people of Mauritius—called Mauritians—are known for their amazing attitudes to life, their joie de vivre and their no-stress mentality.

Where do Mauritian people originate from? ›

In a certain sense, Mauritius was an invention of colonisation and of Africa, only coming into existence when the Dutch brought slaves from as far as Senegal, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar and left them stranded on Mauritian shores.

What is Mauritian heritage? ›

Cultural Heritage of Mauritius

The population of Mauritius is approximately 1.26 million, and is a heterogeneous population consisting of 68% Indo-Mauritians (of Indian origin), 27% Creole (mixed African and European heritage), 3% Sino-Mauritians (of Chinese origin) and 2% others (usually of European background).

What are Mauritian cultural values? ›

Proudly Hospitable. Mauritians are a cheerful and happy nation and are known to be extremely hospitable. They are all about sharing Mauritian culture and values, a practice in which locals take pride. Most often, this is done by sharing local cuisine, music, dance, traditions and by inviting you into their homes.

What is the popular culture in Mauritius? ›

What is pop culture in Mauritius? From Africa to China and India, Mauritian dances and music are an integral part of the island's culture. The most common styles are Sega, Reggae, and Seggae. Sega is a genre of music and dance that blends various influences, such as African, Latin American, and Caribbean music.

What is Mauritius most known for? ›

Mauritius is famous for the Dodo (an extinct flightless bird the size of a swan), a multicultural population, incredible expensive resorts (up to $600 a night and more) the island caters for the more wealthy customers, Mauritius rum, sugar and fruit jams, the Seven Coloured Earths, an underwater waterfall, the Giant ...

What is the history of Mauritian Creole? ›

Mauritian Creoles are the people on the island of Mauritius and in the wider overseas Mauritian diaspora who trace their roots to Black Africans who were brought to Mauritius under slavery from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century.

What is the traditional dress of Mauritius? ›

The Sari is a traditional dress for Mauritian of Indian origins. Some traditional Indo-Mauritians wear Dhoti Kurta while others mixed the Dhoti Kurta with a Western-style shirt. Bright jewelry is commonly worn among Indo-Mauritian women, especially for those who reside in rural areas.

What is hello in Mauritius? ›

19th December 2018
EnglishMauritian CreoleBasic Guide to Pronunciation
Hi (informal)AlloAh-low
Good eveningBonswarbon-swaar
What is your name?Koma ou appélé?Koh-moha oo ap-pele?
23 more rows
Dec 19, 2018

Which is our traditional food? ›

Bisi Bele Bath is a traditional recipe of Karnataka that is prepared in every Kannadiga's home. The dish has a distinct coconut flavour and is available at any restaurant in Bangalore. The recipe is a complicated one that involves many vegetables and flavours but the dish is a must-try.

Is Mauritian Creole a language? ›

Mauritian Creole is a French-based creole language (its lexifier is French), which makes sense considering Mauritius was a French colony for almost a century (1715-1810). It is during the colonisation that Creole was born, a product of several languages including malagasi, english, hindi and bhojpuri.

What food grows in Mauritius? ›

Being a tropical island, Mauritius has an excellent variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
Local Fruits in Mauritius
  • Dwarf Bananas known as Banane Zinzeli.
  • Sugar apple known as Zatte.
  • Litchi.
  • Longan.
  • Java Apple known as Jamalac or Zamalac.
  • Java Plum known as Jamblon.
  • Jackfruit.
  • Pomegranate.
Apr 30, 2018

Are all Mauritians Creole? ›

Mauritian Creoles, constituting about 27 per cent of the population, reflect mixtures of African, French and Indian origins across a broad range. The Creole language, a patois of French and Afro-Malagasy languages, is spoken by virtually all Mauritians and is the 'ancestral language' of 36 per cent of the population.

What are the three languages in Mauritius? ›

Today, the three most commonly used languages in Mauritius are: Mauritian Creole, French and English.

What religion is Mauritius culture? ›

Mauritius is a religiously diverse nation, with Hinduism being the most widely professed faith. People of Indian descent (Indo-Mauritian) follow mostly Hinduism and Islam. The Franco-Mauritians, Creoles and Sino-Mauritians follow Christianity.

Are Mauritians Christians? ›

Christianity is the religion adhered to by 32.7 per cent of the population of Mauritius. Of these, 80.3 per cent are Roman Catholics. The Mauritian Creole and Franco-Mauritian ethnic groups are mostly Christian and significant parts of the Sino-Mauritian ethnic group are also mainly Christian.

Is the food halal in Mauritius? ›

Travellers should note that virtually all Mauritius butcheries are Muslim-owned, and therefore almost all meats offered from such establishments are halal. If a family is in doubt, seafood is always a great choice, as the island is famous for its deliciously prepared sea fare.

Does everyone in Mauritius speak English? ›

English is still the official language of Mauritius, but a large proportion of the population does not speak it at all or has at best a very limited knowledge of it.

What are 5 interesting facts about Mauritius? ›

28th May 2019
  • It was first discovered by Arab and Malay sailors. ...
  • The country of Mauritius is more than one island. ...
  • Mauritius was the only known habitat of the dodo. ...
  • Le Morne Brabant played a significant role in the country's history. ...
  • Indentured labourers were brought in when slavery was abolished.
May 28, 2019

Who were the first people in Mauritius? ›

The island had for a long time remained unknown and uninhabited. It was probably visited by Arab sailors during the Middle Ages, and on maps of about 1500, it is shown by an Arabic name `Dina Arobi'. The Portuguese sailor Domingo Fernandez Pereira was probably the first European to land on the island at around 1511.

What are 3 cultural values? ›

Examples of cultural values include respect for elders, family values, individualism, and egalitarianism. Cultural values are passed on from one generation to another, which ensures continuity of traditions within a group of people.

What are cultural values and traditions? ›

Definition: Culture can be identified as one's world view which includes “experiences, expressions, symbols, materials, customs, behaviors, morals, values, attitudes, and beliefs created and communicated among individuals,” and past down from generation as cultural traditions (Villa, et al., 1993).

What are some cultural values? ›

The examples of it are morals, rules, values, languages, beliefs, arts, literature, music, social roles, customs, traditions and many more.

What is Mauritius famous food? ›

Often hailed as the national dish of Mauritius, dholl puri is a savoury pancake-type dish made of ground yellow split peas, cumin and turmeric. It's often stuffed with a hearty butter bean curry called cari gros pois, served alongside mango chutney and chillies.

What are the three things about Mauritius? ›

Interesting Facts for Kids

History: The first settlements were established by the Dutch in 1638. The island is named after the Prince Maurice van Nassau, who governed Mauritius in 1598. Later the French and British arrived on the island. Mauritius became independent from Britain only in 1968.

What are the cultural food? ›

What are cultural foods? Cultural foods — also called traditional dishes — represent the traditions, beliefs, and practices of a geographic region, ethnic group, religious body, or cross-cultural community. Cultural foods may involve beliefs about how certain foods are prepared or used.

What is the most popular cultural food? ›

Italian food! 84 percent of people across the globe say they like it.

What are some traditions in Mauritius? ›

Some of the annual national festivals celebrated include Slavery Abolition Day (February 1), National Day or Independence Day (March 12) and Labour Day (May 1). The different religious communities of Mauritius celebrate their respective festivals lending a vibrant atmosphere to the island.

What are the most traditional foods? ›

30 Traditional Foods From Around The World
  • Spanish Paella Valenciana.
  • Indian Butter Chicken.
  • Italian Margherita Pizza.
  • Chinese Yangzhou Fried Rice.
  • Korean Bibimbap.
  • Japanese Sushi Rolls.
  • Thai Pad Thai.
  • American Hamburger.
Feb 8, 2022

What is Mauritius best known for? ›

Mauritius is famous for the Dodo (an extinct flightless bird the size of a swan), a multicultural population, incredible expensive resorts (up to $600 a night and more) the island caters for the more wealthy customers, Mauritius rum, sugar and fruit jams, the Seven Coloured Earths, an underwater waterfall, the Giant ...

What is language in culture? ›

Language is one of the most important parts of any culture. It is the way by which people communicate with one another, build relationships, and create a sense of community. There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world today, and each is unique in a number of ways.

Why is language important to culture? ›

Language is intrinsic to the expression of culture. As a means of communicating values, beliefs and customs, it has an important social function and fosters feelings of group identity and solidarity. It is the means by which culture and its traditions and shared values may be conveyed and preserved.

Why is food important to tradition? ›

It helps us to discover attitudes, practices, and rituals surrounding food, it sheds light on our most basic beliefs about ourselves and others. There is a relationship between culture and food. This negotiates our identities, cultures and environments. Food is seen more than just a means of survival.

What are the types of food? ›

What are the five food groups?
  • Fruit and vegetables.
  • Starchy food.
  • Dairy.
  • Protein.
  • Fat.
Oct 11, 2019

What is traditional food habits? ›

Traditional foods are foods and dishes that are passed on through generations or which have been consumed for many generations. Traditional foods and dishes are traditional in nature, and may have a historic precedent in a national dish, regional cuisine or local cuisine.

Which country is No 1 in food? ›

In the global list released of the best known cuisines of the world in the year 2022, Italy got the first place, followed by Greece and Spain in the second and third places respectively.

What culture has the healthiest food? ›

These are the healthiest cultures and diets in the world
  • The Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean Diet has long been touted as one of the world's healthiest diets. ...
  • Japan. Japan has one the world's longest life expectancies and it 05/be due to its diet. ...
  • South Korea. ...
  • France.

What is the #1 food in the world? ›

Pizza is the topmost liked food in the world. Today you can find pizza in almost every corner of the world. This traditional Italian dish is made of flattened round dough topped with cheese, and tomatoes, and additionally garnished with basil, olives, and oregano.


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