Whenever I think of Mauritius, the first word coming to my mind is “Creole”, the word’s widest meaning: Mauritius is the island of diversity in any form.
Think about its flag, four colours for as many religions more or less spred:
- red for hindus
- blue for christians
- yellow for tamils
- green for muslims
Religions which, instead of what happens in many other places, quietly live together without arguing with each other. If you take a walk in the capital, Port Louis, you will find mosques, buddhist pagodas, churches and hindu temples showing Hanuman’s crest, the warrior king, a monkey starring the Ramayana, not just any tale.
Mauritius is the island of differences which were able to find a balance: centuries of foreign dominations left shaped the people’s visage, dark skins with green and blue eyes. French, English, Dutch, they all came through leaving some trace, and the colonial buildings are still there, recalling a past which seems timeless nowadays.
The local food went through the same experience and is a blend of different flavours coexisting in the same dish, surprising every time the visitors with their ingredients which sound impossible to stay together.
This is what comes into my mind when I think about the word Creole. It’s not just about slaves and imperialism. This is what I think of while walking around in Mauritius: that I am in a place which is just a unique combination of contrasts. And nothing seems to be out of place.