Cultural Activities in Mauritius

Mauritius is a multicultural island. You will find locals of various backgrounds as well as immigrants from all over the world here. As a result, the island is bursting with cultural activities that will help you discover Mauritius in its truest form. If you feel like it, don’t hesitate to go out of your comfort zone and try typical cultural activities in Mauritius.

Sega Nights

Mauritius culture

Credit: Jenny Mealing on Flickr

Mauritius is famous for its rhythmic Sega songs and dances. In colonial times, the Sega was slaves’ only means of entertainment and solace. While original Sega songs had a more mournful rhythm, modern tunes feature happy and carefree notes. At the very heart of Mauritian culture, Sega songs are often accompanied by the traditional beat of handmade instruments. From the traditional “Tabla” to the “Ravanne”, the fusion of music will have you singing along in no time.

Luckily enough, almost every hotel in Mauritius has a “Sega Night” where you can enjoy live entertainment after dinner. Additionally, after the show, you can learn basic Sega steps and join the professional dancers. In fact, some hotels might even provide the traditional Sega outfits which basically comprise of a midriff-showing top and full, flowery skirt for ladies, as well as a loose tropical shirt and slacks for men.

Multi-Cultural Buffets

cultural activities in Mauritius

Credit: carrotmadman6 on Flickr

Mauritius is one of the few countries where the natives come from an extended variety of cultures and religions. As a result, experiencing some of the main cultural activities often includes various types of multi-cultural buffets. While some hotels do offer these buffets, don’t hesitate to drive across the island to discover some of the best local restaurants or snacks. It is always a good idea to give smaller family-owned business a try, as you will be treated to the kind of fusion cuisine that gives Mauritius its international reputation. An example of a multi-cultural meal might include boiled noodles with meat and a fried egg with a side of samosas. A starter would typically include creole-style grilled meat and a Greek salad.

Sundowners

sundowners in Mauritius

Credit: Antoine Debroye on Flickr

Sundowners and traditional Friday Nights are an integral part of Mauritian culture. While most major resorts on the island offer typical Mauritian sundowners, the local pubs offer a more authentic experience. These normally include plenty of music and typical Mauritian snacks such as “Poisson Corne Frire” which is basically a whole fried fresh fish garnished with fried onions and parsley. This is accompanied by ice cold Mauritian beer and plenty of engaging conversation, dance and laughter. Upscale establishments often go for a more polished experience with local beer, Mauritian rum and cocktails. The best thing about Friday nights in Mauritius is that most pubs and hotels feature local artists, singers and stand-up comedians to add some extra fun to your night.

Porlwi by Light

Mauritius culture

Credit: farhanchoonka on Instagram

While the capital of Port Louis is extremely busy during the day, it is pretty quiet at night. Once a year, however, Port Louis flares to light at night, thanks to the ‘Porlwi by Light’ festival. It is one of the main cultural activities in Mauritius. Porlwi by Light will enable you to discover the capital like never before: a contemporary extravaganza that’s practically bursting with celebration, sound and lights, this festival sees every major building decked in haunting hues for a striking effect.

This festival also offers you the chance of attending a variety of local shows, exhibitions, frescoes, installations, performances as well as concerts. This all-night activity is best explored on foot and gathers Mauritians from all over the island. Eateries and street vendors work all night, giving you the chance to indulge in some shopping under an almost mystical atmosphere. There is an undeniable sense of merriment and companionship in the air as everybody comes together to eat, shop and attend the numerous shows that literally spring up in every corner of Port Louis.

Diwali Shows

Mauritius Diwali

Also known as the festival of light, Diwali shows occur once a year in October or November. While Diwali is primarily a Hindu festival, the multicultural lifestyle in Mauritius means that everyone gets to partake in this celebration, regardless of religion. On this day, Mauritians from all over the island distribute boxes of assorted sweets to each other. At night, the houses are decked and illuminated in strings and strings of fairy lights. Some families even place rows of earthen lamps in front of their houses.

On Diwali, several institutions and hotels organise special themed shows and activities. An example is the “Rangoli”, which basically entails creating designs and images on the hotel driveway using coloured rice. Diwali shows are mesmerising with dances and plays punctuated by sparkly multi-coloured outfits as well as local music.

Related: Things to do in Mauritius

China Town Festival

A nationwide event, the China Town Festival attracts plenty of visitors- both tourists and locals- each year. Organised by the Mauritian Chamber of Commerce, this festival will help you understand the history of Chinese migrants and workers in Mauritius. This festival is bursting with traditional dances and songs as well as colorful shows based on Chinese and Mongolian culture.

The China Town Festival normally spans across the entire weekend. While shows are held at night, you will be able to explore the decorated streets of Chinatown by daylight, where endless stalls have been set up to help you sample local Chinese delicacies. Visitors can also purchase handcrafted souvenirs to bring back home.

*Feature image: Jenny Mealing on Flickr


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Les activités culturelles de l’Ile Maurice

L’île Maurice est une île multiculturelle. De ce fait, vous trouverez ici des habitants de milieux différents ainsi que des immigrants du monde entier. Une panoplie d’activités culturelles offertes vous aideront à découvrir l’île Maurice dans sa forme la plus authentique. Voici quelques activités culturelles typiques de l’île Maurice :

Les soirées de Séga

Mauritius culture

Credit: Jenny Mealing on Flickr

L’île Maurice est connue pour ses musiques et ses danses de Séga.  À l’époque coloniale, le Séga était le seul moyen de divertissement des esclaves. Au cœur même de la culture mauricienne, les chants de Séga s’accompagnent des instruments fabriqués manuellement. Du traditionnel “Tabla” à la “Ravanne”, la fusion de la musique vous fera chanter en un rien de temps.

La grande majorité des hôtels offre une “Sega Night” où vous pourrez profiter d’un spectacle en direct après le dîner. De plus, après le spectacle, vous pouvez apprendre les pas de danse et même rejoindre les danseurs professionnels sur la piste. Certains hôtels vous fournissent même des costumes traditionnels qui se composent essentiellement d’une jupe et blouse fleurie pour les dames et de pantalons aux motifs tropicaux pour les hommes.

Buffets multiculturels

cultural activities in Mauritius

Credit: carrotmadman6 on Flickr

Maurice est l’un des rares pays où l’on retrouve une grande variété de cultures et de religions.  Bien que certains hôtels offrent des buffets multiculturels, n’hésitez pas à explorer les petits villages pour déguster des mets offerts par des entreprises familiales. Un repas multiculturel à l’Ile Maurice peut inclure des nouilles bouillies avec de la viande et un œuf frit comme plat principal avec des samossas comme l’entrée. Concernant les snacks, ils consistent généralement de viande grillée à la créole et une salade grecque.

Sundowners

sundowners in Mauritius

Credit: Antoine Debroye on Flickr

Les ‘Sundowners’ et les soirées traditionnelles du vendredi font une partie intégrante de la culture mauricienne. N’hésitez pas à visiter les pubs locaux pour bénéficier d’une expérience plus authentique. Lors de ces soirées, vous pouvez vous détendre dans une ambiance musicale tout en dégustant  des collations typiquement mauriciennes telles que “Poisson Corne Frire”, qui comprend d’un poisson frit entier garni d’oignons et de persil. Ceci est accompagné d’une bière mauricienne glacée, sans oublier la bonne humeur, la danse et les chants de Séga. Le vendredi soir, la plupart des hôtels propose des spectacles animés par les artistes locaux.

Porlwi by Light

Mauritius culture

Credit: farhanchoonka on Instagram

L’une des principales activités culturelles à Maurice, « Porlwi by Light » vous permet de découvrir la capitale comme jamais auparavant. Une extravagance contemporaine qui regorge de sons et de lumières, ce festival voit tous les grands bâtiments illuminés par des lumières nuancées.

Ce festival vous offre également la possibilité d’assister à une variété de spectacles locaux, expositions, fresques, installations, ainsi que des concerts. Cette activité dure toute la nuit et rassemble les Mauriciens ainsi que les touristes. Les restaurants et les vendeurs ambulants travaillent toute la nuit, vous donnant ainsi la possibilité de faire les magasins dans une atmosphère presque mystique.

Les Spectacles de Diwali

Mauritius Diwali

Également connu comme le festival de la lumière, la fête de Diwali est majoritairement une fête hindoue, mais les spectacles réunissent tous les Mauriciens, quelle que soit leur appartenance religieuse. En ce jour, les Mauriciens se partagent des boîtes de friandises et décorent  leurs maisons. Plusieurs hôtels organisent des spectacles et des activités, comme le «Rangoli», qui consiste essentiellement de la création d’images sur la chaussée en utilisant du riz coloré. Les spectacles de Diwali consistent aussi de la danse ainsi que de la musique traditionnelle.

China Town Festival

Un événement national, le « China Town Festival » attire beaucoup de visiteurs. Organisé par la Chambre de commerce mauricienne, ce festival vous aidera à comprendre l’histoire des migrants et des travailleurs chinois qui ont contribué à une grande partie de la population asiatique de l’île. Idéal pour ceux qui veulent profiter d’une activité culturelle à l’Ile Maurice, ce festival regorge de danses et de chansons ainsi que de spectacles basés sur la culture chinoise et mongole. Les visiteurs peuvent également acheter des souvenirs et friandises chinoises.


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