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Why Mauritius?
Mauritius is a fascinating, world-in-one-island slice of paradise!
Mauritius stands among one of the top luxury tourism destinations of the world, especially tourists seeking holidays on a tropical paradise island. It is rich with cultural diversity, historic sites, picturesque beaches, tropical fauna and flora, natural attractions as well as the modern setup around; which have enabled the island to win the ‘Most popular Destination in the Indian Ocean’ ITB -2014 awards, ‘Destination de l’année 2013’ - ITB 2013, ‘World leading island destination’ and ‘Best beach’ at the travel awards in January 2012.

Mauritius provides an arena of activities to make the holidays even more pleasant. Activities such as natural parks, shopping malls, leisure and recreational activities stand amongst the popular activities. Mauritius has often been trademarked as the Sun, Sea and Sand Island, a Golf Destination, Horse Racing, Shopping Fiesta.

The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural; most Mauritians are multilingual, and English, French, Creole and Asian languages are used. The people are friendly and welcoming, which makes Mauritius highly ranked for democracy, unity and peace.

Geography & Climate
Mauritius is an island with a surface area of 720 square miles. It is situated just above the Tropic of Capricorn, in the south of Indian Ocean, with 57° 35 East longitude and 19° 68 and 20° 15 South latitude. Being of volcanic origin, Mauritius has a central plateau which is about 400 meters above sea level.

Mountains scatter throughout the island, tropical forests, rivers, waterfalls and exotic plants are other features that add to the natural beauty of the island. With more than 90 miles of white sandy beaches, the crystal clear lagoons are protected by the world's third largest coral reef, which almost surrounds the island.

Mauritius enjoys a tropical climate that ranges from:
Summer (November to April): 27° C (80° F) on the Coast to 23° C (73° F) on the Central Plateau.
Winter (May to October): 21° C (70° F) on the Coast to 17° C (63° F) on the Central Plateau
July is the Coolest Month 22° C (71° F).
February is the Warmest Month 28° C (83° F).

INDEPENDENCE
Mauritius achieved independence on 12 March 1968 owing to the hard work of the father of the nation, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. 12 March Marks the day when the Island of Mauritius obtained its independence from Great Britain in 1968 and became a sovereign nation. Mauritius also became a Republic in 1992. The Independence Day ended nearly 200 years of British rule of the island. The first prime minister and architect of independence at that time was the late Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, leader of the Labour Party and the British governor general of Mauritius, late Sir John Shaw Rennie, handled the ceremony of the flag at that time.

The flag of Mauritius is of four colors;
Red representing the struggle for freedom and independence
Blue represents the Indian ocean in the middle of which Mauritius is situated
Yellow represents the new light of independence shining over the island
Green represents the agriculture of Mauritius and its color throughout the twelve months of the year

Culture
While many countries claim they are cosmopolitan, only few really qualify. Mauritius is one of those rare authentically cosmopolitan societies, where you can see towns and villages bearing a Catholic church, a Muslim mosque, a Hindu temple or a Chinese pagoda within walking distance in the same vicinity. This multi-cultural cohabitation is one of the most old and valued heritage, we, the Mauritian shares. You might find some people dressed according to their community traditions, women in saris, in niqabs or in the latest European fashions. In restaurants, you will be able to savor typical Mauritian, Indian or Chinese cuisine. A multitude of cultural festivals are celebrated throughout the year in a kaleidoscopic display of different cultures related to the respective religion of the country\ The cultural mix of the Mauritian society is the result of a cohabitation of different great religions of the world, namely Hinduism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism.

The Sega

The Sega is the Musical Expression of the Mauritian way of life: Joy, Carefree and Lively.
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.
It is a cry from the soul trying to transcend the miseries and heartaches of life, while at the same time expressing the universal human desire for joy and happiness. It tells the joys and sorrows of the peasants. It is a nostalgic heritage of the villagers. Its beats, gripping in intensity, now provide entertainment to Mauritians of all walks of life from towns to villages. Today the Sega and its beat are a part of every Mauritian's life.


UNESCO RECOGNITION
Le Morne Cultural Landscape
Le Morne Brabant is the epitome of the heroic and relentless struggle for freedom by Mauritian maroons as well as their ideals, which still live in the Mauritian national psyche. Le Morne Cultural Landscape encompasses a natural fortress that was used as a retreat for escaping slaves in the 18th and early 19th century. These escapees (the maroons) took shelter in caves and on the mountain slopes of Le Morne Brabant.

It serves as a tangible proof of the existence of a slave-maroon consciousness, which refused to accept colonial domination and life under the shackles of forced servitude. Now it is a spiritual sanctuary, with high symbolic value and oral traditions about the resistance to slavery. 

The site is described as an associative cultural landscape, for its powerful cultural associations with the natural element rather than material cultural evidence. Its visual dimension is a crucial part of its importance. Le Morne is located on a peninsula, mostly surrounded by sea.

Aapravasi Ghat

In the district of Port Louis, lies the 1,640 m2 site where the modern indentured labour diaspora began. In 1834, the British Government selected the island of Mauritius to be the first site for what it called ‘the great experiment’ in the use of ‘free’ labour to replace slaves. Between 1834 and 1920, almost half a million indentured labourers arrived from India at Aapravasi Ghat to work in the sugar plantations of Mauritius, or to be transferred to Reunion Island, Australia, southern and eastern Africa or the Caribbean. The buildings of Aapravasi Ghat are among the earliest explicit manifestations of what was to become a global economic system and one of the greatest migrations in history.

Mauritian gastronomy
Mauritian gastronomy is as diversified as the inhabitants of this small tropical island: Creole, Indian, Chinese, European, or simply a mix and match of all those cultures and tastes. Holidays in Mauritius are incomplete without having experienced the local gastronomy.

Creole cuisine

Creole Cuisine is a quite hot and spicy cuisine but above all nicely perfumed.
The curry comprises of fish, chicken, beef together with hot rice are the most popular dishes. Other dishes include rougaille Poisson sallee, languste a la creole, curry de Cerf, Daube de Poisson, “Millionaire’s salad” which is heart of palm served as a salad or grilled.

Chinese Cuisine

The most common dish in Chinese cuisine is fried noodles; however, Chinese cuisine is richer and more varied than that. Chinese cuisine based on pork, beef, shrimps and fish accompanied with soy or oyster sauces, ginger, lemongrass, and fine herbs. Dim sums, available in small portions and may include meat, seafood, and vegetables, as well as desserts and fruit. Dim sums are usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. For example, "saw mai", "niuk yan" (meat balls), "en pow niuk" (steamed fish fingers) and "teo kon" (bean-curd).

Indian Cuisine

Perfumed with saffron, turmeric, coriander, cardamom, and cumin, curry remains the most characteristic meal of Indian cuisine. Fish, chicken or lamb curry as well as vegetarian food is always served with leafy vegetables.
Indian specialty is the ‘ti pouri’ and curry. This is a dish normally served in traditional Indian weddings and consists of different curries accompanied by the ‘ti pouri’, a wheat flour flatbread.

Muslim food

The typical Mauritian food of the Muslim community is the same as the food eaten by Muslims worldwide and consists of: fava beans, wheat, rice, yogurt, dates, and chicken. Muslims specialty is the ‘briyani’ which is one of the biggest contributions of Muslims to the Mauritian food scene. Briyani is a set of rice-based foods made with spices (such as cloves, crushed cardamon pods, cinnamon stick, star anise, saffron powder and black peppercorns), rice and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. It is cooked in a steel pot called ‘deg’.

Halal / Kosher
The halal food is prepared according to the Muslim belief. “Halal” means permitted or lawful. The halal term can be used for all the Muslim life’s areas but it is associated most of the times with the cooking and the food. Halal food can be found in many restaurants around the island.
Snacks that are considered part of Mauritian gastronomy includes the dholl puri, gateaux piments, samosas amongst others.

Dholl Puri/ Roti
The roti is a round flatbread which is consumed by all Mauritians. It is made with unleavened wheat flour and comes in several varieties. The most popular is the faratha which is enriched with ghee. Other varieties are the chappati and the poori.
Another variety of poori is the dholl poori which is made with grain flour instead of wheat. Most of those, especially the faratha and the dholl-poori are popular Mauritian street foods.

Snacks

Popular Mauritian snacks are le “gateaux piments, samosas, gato- arouilless” among others. They are available in almost every corner of the island.

Gateaux pîments
Gateaux pîments: Round fritters of dholl and chili. They are often consumed as a snack.

Samosas
Samosas are of a triangular shape and are often filled with cheese, vegetable curry, fish, chicken or other meats.

Gateau Arouille
Grated yam (taro) mixed with sliced spring onions and ginger and coated with bread crumbs. The paste obtained is then fashioned into balls and deep fried until very crispy.

Alouda (Drink)
our local milk-based drink is a much-sought form of refreshment on any summer day. It is also being industrially produced and marketed in 175ml cups in many commercial stores. It is made up of milk, water, crushed ice, vanilla essence, sugar, bansil seeds, and ice cream as well.

CURRENCY
The official currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee (MUR) and is used only in Mauritius and islands under the republic of Mauritius namely Rodrigues and Agalega.

Currency rate exchange
EURO 1.00 = 39.50 rupees.
US Dollars 1.00 = 30.60 rupees.
GBP 1.00 = 51.10 rupees
Australian Dollar =28.30 rupees
(Note: All the rates are for reference purposes and are subject to daily changes.)

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