Mauritius and its vestiges
Once know as “Isle de France”, Mauritius, which is a melting pot, has successfully preserved its rich colonial history in the days when the island was successively a Dutch, French and British colony. This mix of cultures is also reflected in the culinary tradition as it has been adapted over the decades to include the island’s most exotic ingredients.
English is the administrative language on the island. French undisputedly remains the language of the media and is as a result broadcasted to the greatest audience. However, creole remains the language that is widely spread and spoken by the local population. This language took birth from interaction between the slaves and the settlers. And as time went by, its structure got richer. Nowadays, it tends to go beyond its initial role of being only a tool of understanding. The recent attempts to give if an official linguistic structure contribute to confer it the status of a full-fledged language in the near future.
Just like French, Creole acts as a unifying link between the different ethnic groups. As a result, they are the most spoken languages on the island. Despite their common roots, the Mauritian Creole is not necessarily understood by those mastering the Creole from Reunion Island. This is due to the influence of the Hindi Tamil and the Chinese languages.
Numerous languages of Indian origin are also spoken and written in Mauritius. This multiplicity emanates from the diversity of immigrants. We thus find languages derived from the Sanskrit (Hindi, Urdu and Bhojpuri) and the Dravidian communities (Tamil, Marathi, Telegu). As regards to the Chinese community, it communicates generally in Cantonese, which is mainly spoken within the family circle.
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