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Things you didn’t know about Mauritius

8 December 2013 19 Comments

Mauritius, a beautiful island country, known for its white beaches and pristine waters. Each side of the island reveals a dramatically different landscape from the other. It is that one country you can fall in love with immediately… even before landing.

Mauritius @lemonicks.com

Mauritius is absolutely a pleasure!

People visit this country for warm hospitality, good food and good vacation comprising of several activities. It’s a multi lingual, multi cultural nation just like ours.
As usual, on this trip too I kept observing and asking questions to understand more about the country.

Today, I’ll tell you something that you may not know about Mauritius.

1) Mauritius is a land in which mainly four languages are spoken. Creole or Kreol as it is known locally is widely spoken at home, with family members and friends and in local markets. French takes the 2nd place, spoken in work places, hotels or for doing any business. Generally people are more comfortable speaking in French than English. English is taught in schools. Also taught in primary schools is one more language depending on the religion/ choice. E.g. Tamil, Hindi, Creole etc. The 4th language of Mauritius is Bhojpuri which is now restricted to older generation.

2) It is a country of music lovers. Besides English, French and other languages, Hindi music is extremely popular among the locals. Out of 7 FM channels on radio, two are dedicated to Hindi! It is amazing to listen to latest hits of Bollywood. They also announce various Hindi movies being shown on TV. And the moment you say you are from Mumbai, you are bombarded with numerous questions on Bollywood stars. :)

Mauritius beach @lemonicks.com

Can you see a cyclist going up the ramp?

3) Throughout the country the FOBs (foot overbridge) mostly don’t have steps. They are built like a ramp, so it is easy for bikes and people with wheel chairs to cross the roads. That shows the thoughtfulness of the authorities for their people’s convenience !
4) Jumping light isn’t the way. The drivers religiously obey the traffic rules. Even at 2 at night my driver stopped at a red light on a small street when there was nobody around. He could have sped away as we do in India but no. My respect for the locals’ self discipline grew manifold.

Mauritius car @lemonicks.com

This car was registered in August 1999.

5) By looking at a vehicle’s number plate you can tell when that vehicle was registered…. which year & month. Isn’t it a simple way of doing things?
6) Japanese cars are popular in Mauritius. Toyota, Nissan, Honda rule the road. And yes, they drive left hand, surprising considering the enormous French influence.
7) Besides 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 etc. the Mauritian currency also has denomination of 25 and 200 ! Unheard of, no? I had these notes with me before going there and I no, I didn’t spend them. :) Surprisingly, the currency notes have marking in only English, Tamil & Hindi.

Mauritius rum @lemonicks.com

Which flavor would you like to taste?

8) Rum is widely popular in the country. There are several Rhumeries where you can see the entire process of rum making, visit the factories and buy rum as well. The Rum is available in flavors like ginger, passion fruit, vanilla, coffee, coconut, chilli.
9) My driver Avish lives in a colony called Terre Rouge (red earth in English) but I was surprised when he told me the meaning of Terre Rouge. He said, we call it लाल माटी in local language! He didn’t know it was Hindi!
Mauritius beach @lemonicks.com

Awesomely delicious food.

10) Pickle (achar) is called Achard in Mauritius and has many varieties like Bilimbi, Chalta, Mango etc.
11) The wedding expenses for locals can start from 250 thousand MUR (Mauritian Rupee). The Hindus still celebrate rituals like Haldi, Sangeet, feras etc and the wedding goes into four days. Minimum jewelry that is gifted from the groom’s side is kangan, mangalsutra, and ring.
12) A giant idol of Lord Shiva was donated by Govt. of India, the raw material and the workforce went from India to make it. Now one more statue is coming up, that of Durga…. again a gift from Govt. of India.

So, how much did you know about Mauritius?
This was just a glimpse of Mauritius. Stay tuned. More to come. :)

If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page and Twitter.
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19 Comments »

  • Shreya said:

    wow! number plate concept is so cool. why we don’t think that way?

    also, the ramp is very thoughtful thing to implement.

    Never knew Bhojpuri has gone that far.

    Thanks for sharing these details.

  • Paresh Kale said:

    Great info. Loved the first photo Nisha nice take !
    Paresh Kale´s last [post] ..Common Gull – Cepora nerissa

  • Neeraj Narayanan said:

    Heh, lots of new facts but for some reason I liked the one about the ‘car number plate’ the most ;)

    Good stuff!

  • indu chhibber said:

    That was a good glimpse of the place…points no.3,4,5 impressed me a lot.Thanks.
    indu chhibber´s last [post] ..Defeating Difficult Times

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Shreya,
    First, thanks for being a loyal reader. :P

    Yes, that’s what I also thought why can’t we implement such simple solutions.
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Things you didn’t know about Mauritius

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Paresh,
    Thank you. :)
    Your clicks of entire life cycle is amazing. :)
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Things you didn’t know about Mauritius

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Neeraj,
    You must give a thumbs up for my observation for that. Later when I was convinced abt it, I asked my driver and he confirmed. :)
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Things you didn’t know about Mauritius

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Indu,
    Thanks.

    Isn’t it nice to observe a few things while on the move? :)
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Things you didn’t know about Mauritius

  • Harini Ethimex said:

    Great Information…

  • Rachit Aggarwal said:

    Great pictures.

    And this thing about obeying the traffic rules even at 2 in night is really unbelievable for me as an Indian. It is amazing that they have this healthy practice.
    Rachit Aggarwal´s last [post] ..MahaShivratri celebrations at Brahma Kumaris, Shanti Sarovar

  • Savi said:

    Great article. I didn’t notice the number plate thing while I was in Mauritius, but I did hang on to the unique currency notes as well :-)

    Just finished penning an article on Top 10 things to do in Mauritius over at our blog. You might enjoy it.

    Savi´s last [post] ..For The Beach Bums

  • Prashanth M said:

    1 out 12 – I knew about Bhojpuri :)

    And a wonderfully written informative post
    Prashanth M´s last [post] ..Singapore: First Impressions

  • Manish Kumar said:

    Informative article. Loved the number plating system. What abt Veg food options in Mauritius?

  • Niranjan said:

    Interesting information, Nisha. Reminded me of my trip there a couple of years back.
    Niranjan´s last [post] ..Buddham Saranam Gacchami…!!

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Harini,
    Thank you.

    Rachit,
    EVen I was amazed to see them practising it! :)

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Savi,
    Thank you.
    Read it!

    While the driver is at steering wheel & you don’t have any work except looking outside, these general things pop out bravely. :)
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Things you didn’t know about Mauritius

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Prashanth,
    Thank you.

    Is it not amazing to see however no. of times you go to a place, you always find something new to surprise you? :)
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Things you didn’t know about Mauritius

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Manish,
    Thanks.
    There are many veg options in Mauritius. After all, thousands of Indian tourists visit the country every year. :)
    Nisha´s last [post] ..Things you didn’t know about Mauritius

  • Nisha (author) said:

    Niranjan,

    Glad you liked it. Have you written about the place?

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