Founded inChina Town is popular for its many Chinese restaurants serving delicious Cantonese cuisine, Chinese grocery
Stray from the beach to explore how centuries of immigration have created a diverse culture, a relaxed prosperity and a richly mixed cuisine.
By half past nine in the morning the old Central Market in Port Louis has become a swirl of colour, the sultry air filled with voices and redolent with scorched chillies, street-hawker curries and over-ripe mangoes.
Every kind of spice, fruit or vegetable you can think of is crammed in here, piled high along with a good many things — chayote root?
|Culture and Traditions in Mauritius | Villanovo||Regions Other guides Mauritian culture, like any culture worldwide, makes a country and its people unique.|
|Culture of Mauritius - Wikipedia||Public Holidays on fixed dates: Therefore, only the months when they are likely to be celebrated is given.|
|Culture of Mauritius - Wikipedia||This is reflected through the food, music, literature that have had different impacts which have emerged into a Mauritian culture. Music Sega is the music created by locals, with its different origins.|
Every daybreak this glorious cornucopia is trucked in from the market gardens and plantations scattered in the hills around the island, or brought up fresh from the harbour, just a few streets away. Here, local fishermen land their catches of tuna and amberjack, giant prawns and curious, brightly-coloured tropical species netted out among the coral reefs.
Since this noisy, pungent, crowded market, down on Farquhar Street in the heart of town, has been where Port Louis — capital of Mauritius — has come to buy its groceries. The cheerful jumble of French, Creole, Chinese and Hindi spoken by shoppers and traders tells a story of Mauritius far richer and more piquant than anything found in a history book.
And what a rollicking story it is: Once best known for its crystalline beaches, turquoise seas and as a palmy honeymoon spot, the tiny island is increasingly being celebrated for its accessible yet unique cuisine, full of richly spicy native-inspired dishes such as biryani and rougaille.
One of the tastes that most reminded me of home was the pickled octopus that street vendors sell on the beaches, so I made my own interpretation of that, accented with mango and apple cider vinegar.
That dish marked the turning point for me. An increasing number of Mauritians are realising that — in a much-photographed world, where crystalline beaches and azure seas are two-a-penny — their colourful past has bequeathed a legacy that sets their pretty little island apart from the rest.
That said, it is still a beautiful setting. Up until then, the square mile island had been sitting in splendid sunlit isolation for about 10 million years, since it first emerged from the Indian Ocean in a series of volcanic eruptions.
Over countless millennia it evolved its own vibrant ecosystem, its volcanic peaks cloaked in deep tropical forests still riot with life: With the exception of a few probable but unrecorded visits by Arab seafarers centuries earlier, the island had no human history at all.
Its white sand beaches were a blank page waiting to be written on.
Pereira named it Ilha do Cerne, the Island of the Swan, after his ship, then sailed away to obscurity. Although the galleons of the Portuguese spice trade would call in at Ilha do Cerne occasionally over the next few decades, to refill water casks or re-stock their larders with fresh fruit, fish or meat from the giant flightless birds — the dodo — found in abundance there, nobody settled the place.
It was the Dutch, nearly a century later, starting inwho wrote the very first chapters, introducing sugar cane, importing the first slaves, and giving the island the name by which we know it today, Mauritius, after a wealthy shareholder of the Dutch East India Company.
It was they who famously hunted the poor old dodo to extinction, killing off the last of the forest-dwelling creatures sometime around the year By Mauritius was in French hands, the Dutch having abandoned it a few years earlier.
Not so the French. They came to stay and, thanks to the efforts of an aristocratic sea captain-turned-governor named Bertrand Labourdonnais, the island — renamed Ile de France — blossomed into one of the most prosperous places in the Indian Ocean.
Gone were the primeval rainforests, replaced with mile after mile of sun-drenched sugar cane, and grand plantation houses that look lifted from Gone With The Wind and indeed are occasionally used as movie sets. Devoted to the history of the sweet stuff, it is set in a restored 19th-century mill in the Pampelmousses district in the north, near the village where Governor La Bourdonnais had his villa.
Sunrise in a nearby northerly field finds him and his fellow cutters taking a breather from harvesting. Even today more than 80 per cent of arable land on the island is covered by cane fields.
The soft, hazy, eroded nubs of ancient volcanoes form an almost painterly backdrop — reminders of the rich, red, volcanic soil that made the island perfect for growing sugar. To work this abundant crop, slaves were imported from French possessions in West Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Later, after the English seized the island from the French inand abolished slavery inindentured workers were shipped in their tens of thousands from India and China, each bringing their own cultures and traditions to add to the mix.
Most of these workers remained after their term of indenturement was up, so that by the turn of the 20th century an island which years earlier had no human population had been transformed into one of the great cultural melting pots of the Indian Ocean — and one of the most successful.
Mauritius is tolerant, colourful, cosmopolitan, and its calendar is filled with a huge array of festivals, rites and observances. Some, such as Diwali, the Hindu festival of light, are large and formal; others, like the sega dances common to Creole parties or beach picnics, small and spontaneous.
It is carried abroad in the minds and imaginations of Mauritians who live overseas, such as Shelina Permalloo, as well as freshened with ideas brought to its shores by 21st-century settlers. When Venetian-born chef Fabio de Poli decided to open a restaurant of his own, after years of trotting the globe working for others, he returned to the place he had fallen in love with 15 years earlier — Mauritius.
As with generations of earlier migrants, de Poli brought something from home to add to the pot — in his case a modern European spin on an old and rare Mauritian ingredient: Over the years it was all but forgotten.
He removes and finely chops their tender hearts and serves them with an Italian twist: Like the platters of food they have brought, it is an intermingling of African and European elements that has blossomed into something all its own. With drums and singing and the air heavy with fragrant barbeque smoke, they celebrate their lives as Mauritians.
And when the dancing and feasting is finished, they pick up every scrap of litter, wish each other the very best and go home to their families.The Mauritius culture saw little change with the English takeover.
The Cape of Good Hope was a more prized British possession, and subsequently little capital and effort was put into the Mauritian economy. The Top 10 Things to See and Do in Mauritius Check out our guide to the must-do things in Mauritius, whether you're already out there or planning to go. Culture of Mauritius.
Read about culture and festivals in Mauritius. Peoples cultural heritage and festivals, quick facts on Mauritius. Call & know about Mauritius food and .
General Info > Culture Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions which our immigrant population brought from their ancestral countries. Their festivities are celebrated in a spirit of peace and harmony throughout the year. Culture of Mauritius. Read about culture and festivals in Mauritius. Peoples cultural heritage and festivals, quick facts on Mauritius. Call & know about Mauritius food and . Culture of Mauritius Throughout the years, European, Indian, Chinese and African cultures have come together to make up the colourful and vibrant culture of the island When you hear about Mauritius, the first thing which certainly pops up in your mind is the pristine beaches.
Mauritian culture, like any culture worldwide, makes a country and its people unique. The culture on the island is based on the diversity of the population and is expressed through literature, dance, music, local crafts, religion, and tradition.
You can experience this from the door of your luxury villa in Mauritius. General Info > Culture Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions which our immigrant population brought from their ancestral countries. Their festivities are celebrated in a spirit of peace and harmony throughout the year.
The culture of Mauritius involves the blending of several cultures from its history, as well as individual culture arising indigenously.