Mauritius is an island country archipelago in the Indian Ocean, located in the eastern coast of the continent. The country includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues. The islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Réunion, a French overseas department. Mauritius, is a model of stability, racial harmony and economic prosperity, according to the BBC. The capital is Port Louis named after the naval port built by the French.
Mauritius was a Dutch colony, however, less than a hundred years after settlement the Dutch deserted the colonies. Although not long after the Dutch abandoned Mauritius, the French arrived and constructed a naval base and shipbuilding center they called Port Louis. The French lost the island amidst the Napoleonic wars as Britain successfully overpowered the base in 1810. In 1936, following conflicts between the Indian community and Franco-Mauritians, the Mauritius Labor Party was founded. This coalition became a catalyst in the push for an independent nation, which was achieved in 1968. Recent elections having taken place in December 2014, in the l’Alliance Lepep and elected Sir Anerood Jugnauth of the Militant Socialist Movement (MSM) as Prime Minister. Ameenah Gurib was sworn in 2015 as the first woman president. Her excellency is an internationally renowned scientist and biologist and hold expertise in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. The official language is English.
UNESCO Heritage sites in Mauritius include:
Aapravasi Ghat was the first site chosen by the British government to take part in the “Great Experiment”, where indentured laborers were used instead of slaves. Between 1834 and 1920, almost half a million contracted workers passed through Port Louis from India, either to work in Mauritius or to transfer to other British colonies.
The rugged mountain that juts into the ocean was used as a shelter by runaway slaves through the 18th and early 19th centuries. They formed small settlements in the caves and on its summit.
Since gaining their independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed into a diversified economy.
Sugarcane is grown on about 90% of the cultivated land area and accounts for 25% of the nation’s export. Electricity is largely generated from imported petroleum, with a small percentage derived from hydropower. Sugar plantations often use bagasse—the fiber that remains from sugarcane after sugar-bearing juice is extracted—as fuel to produce electricity. Mauritius has few viable mineral resources. Basalt and lime are mined. Mauritius has the seventh-highest GDP per capita on the continent, according to World Atlas. In 2009, according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the Mauritius government was rated the highest on the continent for its participation and human rights and its sustainable economic opportunity.
Subsequent to a Constitutional amendment in 1982, there is no need for Mauritians to reveal their ethnic identities for the purpose of population census. Official statistics on ethnicity are not available, besides the 1972 census was the last one to measure ethnicity. Approximately two-thirds of the population is of Indo-Pakistani origin, most of whom are descendants of indentured labourers brought to work in the sugar industry during the 19th and early 20th centuries. About one-fourth of the population is Creole (of mixed French and African descent).
Cuisine in Mauritius is a blend of Creole, French, Chinese, European and Indian influences. Dishes from French cuisine have grown very popular in Mauritius. Popular dishes includes: Mazavaroo, Dholl pori, Gaak, Dim sum, Bol devire or bol renverse, Chow mein, Fish Vindaye, Aloud, Mithai, Victoria pineapples, Gateau patat douce.
Music in Mauritius Island, the cultural melting pot of the Indian Ocean, is at the crossroads of several musical styles. Sega is however the unifying musical genre. The Sega is a dance which originated from the ritual music of Madagascar and the mainland of Africa, and it is the Musical Expression of the Mauritian Way of Life: Joy and Liveliness. Originally sung by men and women who had been sold as slaves but whose souls had remained sensitive to music, the Sega is nowadays a folksong which has integrated itself within the framework of our folklore.