Happy Independence Day!
OK, so it’s on the 12th, but we’ve got a whole weekend to make the most of it – the flag-bearing cars, the general festivities.
We gained our independence in 1968. It wasn’t without problems: there were the communal riots in January the same year, leading to a state of emergency. No-one was sure what to expect post-independence: would Mauritius be left to fend for itself?
50 years onwards, we can safely say that we are one of the most successful countries in the African continent: economically, culturally, you name it. No civil wars – just different groups of people cohabiting peacefully with one another. If you compare us to the rest of the world right now, we’re doing brilliantly.
Wherever you’ll find Mauritians, you’ll find an Independence Day celebration. I’ve read that parties are planned in Australia, Canada, and, undoubtedly, around the world. Of course, they seem to be very much dance and food focused – two cornerstones of Mauritian culture, after all.
And so! Here’s what you should be up to, so as to make the most of it:
Get a Mauritian flag from a supermarket and pin it in front of your house/on your car /somewhere nice.
- As a tribute to our culture and our language, I would definitely recommend checking out L’Express Weekly’s Kreol Korner.The illustrations are really clever, and are guaranteed to produce embarrassingly loud laughter, wherever you may be.
- Spend this weekend on YouTube, or just turn on your radio (for once) to enjoy all the Mauritian hits – from Ti Frer to Kaya, Linzy Bacbotte to Laura Beg, Zulu and Menwar, Cassiya and Blackmen Bluz to Patyatann and Flashback. You will also find a collection of the top 70 Mauritian songs from sega, to Bhojpuri.
- Head to the beach, those multicultural spaces open to all, those staples of Mauritian life – Tamarin, Le Morne, Bel Ombre, for instance. Soak up the atmosphere.
- Whip up some traditional Mauritian food. Not only is our food the very symbol of our melded heritage – Indian, Chinese, Creole, European, you name it, we’ve got it – it’s also one of the strongest institutions we value and uphold. The streets are where you’ll indulge in Mauritian food at its finest and cheapest.