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Mauritius Culture

The Mauritian culture's rich diversity is evident in Mauritius' landscape where churches, temples and mosques jostle each other for space.

People of Mauritius celebrate various festivals belonging to different religions with equal gusto and fervor such as Mahashivratri, Diwali, Ganesh Chathurti, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Christmas, Easter and Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) among others.The Tamil festival of Cavadee that celebrates Lord Muruga is a penitence ritual that involves spectacular feats like the fire-walking ceremony.The Mauritian culture's rich diversity is evident in Mauritius' landscape where churches, temples and mosques jostle each other for space. Chinese pagodas and Buddhist temples are also a common sight in

Sega is an indigenous musical form. As it started among slaves of African origin, it is conventionally believed to be of African origin. However, according to some observers, there is no easily found equivalent in mainland Africa to the hip-swaying style of sega dancing, and to the musical instruments used (notably the ravane, a piece of goatskin tightly drawn over a wooden hoop). Sega could therefore be of mixed origin.

Literature in hindi and other indian languages also evolved concomitantly with the rise of the Indian community throughout the 20th century. A notable writer in hindi is Abhimanyu Unnuth, whose work (notably "Lal pasina" - the red sweat - is a powerful narration of the travails of Indian workers in the 19th century) has been well received in literary circles in India.

Spring Festival
The Chinese New Year is celebrated each year on a different date, owing to the differences between the lunar and the solar calendars. Houses are thoroughly cleaned before the festival. No knife or scissors are used on the actual day of the festival. Red, a symbol of happiness is the main colour of the day. Food offerings are made to ensure that the following year will be plentiful and traditional ‘Wax’ cakes are distributed to parents and friends. Firecrackers are set off to drive away the evil spirits.

Whether in your hotel or on the beach, the sega, a dance invented by mauritians of african origin, has become synonymous with «joie de vivre». The sega, its music and dance form, is specific to Mauritius. The sega, mainly based on African music originating with slaves, is nowadays played with modern instruments and features contemporary musical influences.

The rubbing of feet, the swaying of hips and Creole lyrics are part and parcel of the music. The slaves obviously began dancing the sega to forget their miserable existence. There are now several types of sega in Mauritius. Standard sega (where the instruments are the ravanne, the maravanne and the triangle) has its own disciples and devotees.

Moreover the Mauritian culture is termed as being a multi-lingual country with a plethora of languages such as Hindi, Mandarin, Urdu, Tamil, Marathi and Cantonese. English is the official language of the country but Creole remains the only native language of this island which unites the hearts of all Mauritians. Creole contains dialects which emerged from both the French settlers and African Slaves. Also the folklore music of the island , which is the Sega is usually sung in Creole, this indigenous music is often accompanied by various traditional instruments such as the ravanne, maravanne and triangle. Another ancestral music is the Bhojpuri songs which originated from the Indian indentured laborers brought to the island long back. Some original artists have even merged Bhojpuri with Sega, giving their songs a unique taste appreciated by all Mauritians and even visitors to the island.

Mauritius Folklore & Music
There are also traditional music and dances that have been introduced by the Indian and Chinese migrants coming to Mauritius. and the very colourful Chinese traditional dance with the ancestral lions and Dragon dances being the best known. 

Western music is also well represented in the Mauritius culture. There are as always the mainstream music amid rap, hip-hop and rock dominating the scene. But you can see Jazz band and other more traditional music like the waltz as well as all types of ballroom dancing. There is as well a strong following for the 60's to 70's oldies, with the likes of Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Englelberd Emperding being part of the national musical heritage

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