Mauritian Creole people

Mauritian Creole people are the people of African and Malagasy origin who live in Mauritius. However, the Creole people today also includes minorities of people that have both African and Malagasy origins with Indian, Chinese, French and/or British backgrounds.

Contents

Origins

Brought in as slaves to work the plantations of Mauritius (as well as Réunion and Seychelles), the slaves were Malagasy or East-African and were brought mostly from Mozambique, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia.

Creoles today

The Creoles and the Indo-Mauritians form the largest ethnic groups in Mauritius. They are divided into two main groups in Mauritius (which are not exclusive but were used very often in the past): Mulattos and Blacks. Among the community, there is much multiracial variances, from dark-skinned Creoles to near-white ones. Hindus and Creoles have identified with opposing political parties and groups.

The political competition between these two ethnic groups has continued for decades, starting from Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Gaëtan Duval in 1960s and 1970s, passing through Sir Anerood Jugnauth and Paul Bérenger in the 1980s and 1990s, and lastly between Navin Ramgoolam and Paul Bérenger in the 2000s. The demographics and population of Hindu well settled throughout the country always maintain their position and the Hindu-dominated parties always win. Ramgoolam and Jugnauth are the two Hindu clans that have been in power since independence. Bérenger and Duval are the two Creoles who have fought for the Christian electorate; they have been allied with the Labour party or MSM in order to be able to gain positions in government.

Despite the rivalry between the two ethnic groups (Indian origin people and Creoles), both sides live peacefully beside each other. The main struggle is to be the most well set community within the Island. Both groups encourage their children to perform well at school and the adults work hard to improve the quality of their lives. The groups generally agree on issues of national priority. For example, Dr Navin Ramgoolam (Indian origin PM) worked hard to have 'LE MORNE' designated as a World Heritage sites, as the LE MORNE site is important to both the Creole community and Mauritians in general. The friendship and unity of the two groups is also seen when Mauritian athletes compete at international level for the country.

Demographical factors

The majority of Creoles are Christian (mostly Catholic with Protestant minorities including Seventh-day Adventists). Recently, influences from other communities of African origin, particularly the Caribbean, have influenced a significant number of Mauritians to become Rastafarian. There is also a non-religious minority as well as some Islamic converts. The language spoken at home for the majority of Creoles is Mauritian Creole; most also speak French but few speak English.

See also



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