Mauritius: Peaceful Beaches for a Troubled World – By Donatella Felice


The beautiful island of Mauritius lies between the southeast coast of Africa and the west coast of

Australia. The Indian Ocean laps its idyllic shores. The country of Mauritius itself consists of

many small islands and two large islands: Mauritius and Rodrigues. It is rumored that it was

originally discovered by Arab ships in the Middle Ages, but the first evidence of its discovery is

a map made by an Italian cartographer in 1502. The Dutch established the first colony in 1638

which was abandoned just 5 years later. Not soon after, the French arrived. Later still, the British

came and fought for sovereignty. The country finally became independent in 1968. History

teaches us that the island was uninhabited until the first ships arrived. Now Mauritius is

multicultural and multinational. It provides a wonderful example of how a great variety of

different nationalities and religions can live together in peace.

 

The official language of business and record in Mauritius is English. Most people, however,

speak French or Creole. The real local language of Mauritius is Creole, which is a mixture of

several different languages. Creole is mostly a spoken language, with its first dictionary being

produced in 2011. It is a fascinating language and uses a lot of double entendre. The language

itself is constantly changing and modernizing. Depending on their background, many locals also

speak Hindi or Chinese. The ethnic groups in Mauritius are divided into Indo-Mauritian (68%),

Creole (27%), Sino-Mauritian (3%), Franco-Mauritian (2%). According to the Mauritian

government the island of Mauritius has about 1.2 Million people, while Rodrigues has only 42,

260. The only other inhabited islands in Mauritius are Agalega and St. Brandon that have just

274 people between both! A large number of expatriates from Australia, South Africa, and

various other countries also live in Mauritius as a result of its safety, beautiful weather, and

attractive tax climate.

 

There are many different religious groups practicing in Mauritius. The most practiced is

Hinduism, followed by Christianity and Islam. There are also a small minority of Tamils and

Buddhists. Each of these religions celebrates their major holidays side by side each year. Public

holidays include Maha Shivaratree and Ganesh Chaturthi, Eid al Fitr, and Christmas. All these

holidays are celebrated in peace.

 

One of the central parts of Mauritian culture is sega, a type of local music and dance. This upbeat

music centers around the use of a ravann, a goat skin drum. Mauritius is also the home of

seggae, a mixture of sega and reggae. Most weekends locals of all different ethnicities can be

seen eating, drinking, and dancing on the public beaches. Sega is traditionally accompanied by

beautiful dancing women in long skirts and mid-drift tops.

Mauritius local cuisine is a fusion of all the different influences on the island. Street food

consists of delicious fried or boiled noodles, or dumplings in soup, and fresh sugarcane or

coconut juice. Arguably the most famous street snacks are the (outrageously fattening but totally

delicious) dholl puri or gâteaux piment. Local curries of cerf (deer) or prawn and chicken are

also very popular. Delicious, zesty atchars are often served with different foods and definitely

worth a try. While sometimes fresh produce is limited, delicious fresh sea food is always a sure

bet!

 

Recommendations:

  1. Street food: Ti Kouloir in Grand Bae

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g488103- d2687375-Reviews- Ti_Kouloir Grand_Baie.html

2. Best 5 star: The Western

http://www.westinturtlebaymauritius.com/

3. Adventure cabins: Andrea Lodge

https://www.andrea-lodge.com/

4. Glamping: Bubble Lodge

http://www.bubble-lodge.com/

5. Best villas: The Oberoi

http://www.oberoihotels.com/hotels-in- mauritius/

6. Best travel agent: Dream Escapes (especially for apartments and day trips)

http://www.holiday.dreamescapes.mu/

7. Best bars/clubs for tourists: Banana Bar, Big Willies, Beach House, La Kaz

http://www.bananabeachclub.com/

http://www.bigwillys.mu/

http://www.thebeachhouse.mu/

http://www.lakaz.mu/

8. Best bars to meet locals: The Irish

http://theirish.mu/

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It’s All About Timing: Traveling to Europe in the Peak Season- By Dalia Al Saad


 

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It’s summer! Many of you are travelling already and many others are planning for a memorable summer vacation. Europe welcomes visitors throughout the year giving them a chance to choose the time that best suits their busy schedules. While many fortunate families get to cherry-pick when to travel, most families are not so fortunate and so find themselves with no choice but to travel in what is known as the “peak season.”

Continue reading “It’s All About Timing: Traveling to Europe in the Peak Season- By Dalia Al Saad”