Archive: 07 December 2005

In 1847 Mauritius became the fifth country in the world to issue postage stamps. The two types of stamps issued then, known as the Red Penny and the Blue Penny are probably the most famous stamps in the world, being very rare and therefore also very expensive

I’ve been spending some time learning about Mauritius today. Stuff I think I should know, stuff that I am very proud of.

Principally, i’m proud of the fact that it is one of the most genuinely cosmopolitan democracies out there, with :

Ethnic groups:Indo-Mauritian 68%, Creole 27%, Sino-Mauritian 3%, Franco-Mauritian 2%
Religions:Hindu 48%, Roman Catholic 23.6%, other Christian 8.6%, Muslim 16.6%, other 2.5%, unspecified 0.3%, none 0.4% (2000 census)
Languages:Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4% (official), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)

It has such a rich tapestry of culture in such a beautiful setting. Of course with adaptation comes bastardisation:

The majority of MC words are of French origin, although more than 150 are derived from English, more than 50 from Indian languages, and several from Malagasy and Chinese.

Like many French-lexicon creoles, MC words often incorporate the article as part of the form of the word. For example: “liver” (winter), derives from the French “l’hiver”, and “dilo” (water) from “de l’eau”.

but i’m glad that its kept some tradition, for example in its cooking. All the women in my family still bring their daughters into the kitchen while they’re making their curries, sweet and sour chicken, and home made brioches. Some of these foods lack the subtle mauritian touch from their native countries (erm, ginger and garlic), so i regularly opt out of eating in indian and chinese restaurants. (The French, as we know, are flawless).

I thought I’d just leave that spontaneous deposit here. I’m off to read this now.

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