Beneath the natural beauties of Mauritius’s landscape, lies another, but sometime forgotten, gem: the Mauritian Culture, better yet, cultures. Going to its discovery can be a journey into some of the most fascinating and refined thousands year old ancestral traditions. It would be too simple to classify Mauritius as having one culture as so many unique and distinctive parts forms this whole. It is made up of the different customs and traditions of those who, during the last 400 years, have settled on these shores. Here Europe meets India, China, Africa and so on. Who would imagine that such unique and diversified customs thrives on such a small place?
This rich diversity is found in every aspect of the Mauritian life. Churches can be found next to a mosque, Indian temples next to Chinese pagodas. Various Indian believes, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim festivals are celebrated with much fervour and devotion all year round by the different communities. Some of these celebrations can be quite spectacular like the fire-walking ceremony that is performed on the Cavadee day.
Another proof of this rich diversity is in the variety of Mauritian dishes (cuisine). There are traditional western dishes coming from the colonial past of the island; alongside someone can discover delicate new taste and aromas of the more exotic, oriental dishes brought by the Indian and Chinese migrants. Some are unique to Mauritius, as various delicacies have also been adapted to suit the Mauritian taste, which combines the flavours of the East and finest of the West.
Mauritian folklore is another living tribute to the variety and depth of the islanders’ culture. This is illustrated by the many different sound and rhythm. See and hear the beautiful sophisticated Indian dances or the Chinese spectacular lion and dragon ones. Or dance to the frantic rhythm of the Sega, the most typical folkloric dance of Mauritius.