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Mauritius Culture

Published on by mori

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The Mauritius culture is a reflection of the ethnic composition diversity. There are many festivals, like the religious ones: the Christmas, the October Divali-a Hindu lights festival, the Eid ul Fitr, which is the Islam fasting period’s end and which may vary from year to another because the Islamic calendar is not the same with the Gregorian one, or the Cavadee, another Hindu penitence festival.

The Mauritius culture includes Sega, which is the indigenous music of the island with bases in the Africa’s slaves. The Bhojpuri songs in their modern form can be heard in the countryside of the island where the predominant population is of Indian origin.

Part of the Mauritius culture, the literature had a conservative cast, with accent on the French language proper use. However, from the ‘30s, the writing was more progressive in content and in form (Lois Masson-L’etoile et le Clef, for example). The Mauritius culture saw the modern Creole literature’s birth in the ‘70s with a compilation of Charles Baissac Creole folktales- the first important work of Mauritian Creole.

In the 20th century, the Indian and the Hindi languages literature evolved once with the Indian community rise. Abhimanyu Unnuth is important writer in Hindi and part of the Mauritius culture. The Red Sweat (Lal Pasina) is a strong story of the Indian workers’ travails in the 19th century, well received by the India’s literary circles.

The Mauritius literature in the French language, on the ‘60s and the ‘70s had the esoteric and symbolic character poetry as the main character, with derivations from the powerful interest of the Mauritian spirituality and society. The representatives of this area are: Malcom de Chazal, Jean Claude d’Avoine, Jean Fanchette, Raymond Chasle. The return of the prose in the Mauritius culture happened in the ‘80s and the ‘90s as result of the needing to say the fast changes in an industrialized society.

Jean Marie Le Clezio, a French writer with great success in the ‘80s of his work ‘Le chercheur d’or’, also influenced the comeback of the prose. The parents of this modern writing leading figure were from Mauritius too. The story of his book has his grandfather’s adventures as basics. This man spent a lot of time searching for the treasure of the pirates in Rodrigues, had a huge interest regarding the Mauritius culture and offered important help to the island writing’s development.

Among the important contemporary writers are: Sedley Richard Assone with ‘Of love and other poems’, Ananda Devi Nursimloo with ‘Sigh’ and Carl de Souza with ‘The house which walked towards the horizon’. Although Mauritius has been a British colony for 158 years, there is little literature written in English on the island. Still, there are some very important exceptions represented by two authors: R. Bucktowar, the author of ‘A temple on the Island’ and Lindsey Collen which is a writer but also social activist. He wrote Mutiny, some novels that received very favorable reviews on island and abroad.