A melting pot of cultures in Mauritius, originating
mostly from South East Asia, India and Africa. You will have the
opportunity in Mauritius to see the various places of worship of
Hindus, Tamils, Madras, Muslims, Chinese and the Créoles,
each more impressive and intricately designed than the other.
Because many locals do not have the dexterity of buildings
the temples, mosques
and pagodas, foreign artists are called
upon to make the sculptures and the deities are brought to life,
in a myriad of bright colours.
Even though traditional values are slowly eroding,
many families have kept their traditional values, and they are most
observable in their tastes of food, dressing habits and weddings.
Weddings are celebrated in pomp, especially in the
Hindu community, where they last longest,
over 4 days of rituals and celebration, where flowers, water, honey,
milk and incense are always present for symbolism. And of course,
the more people the merrier. Green tents are usually erected in
the yard and food is served on a banana leaf and food is eaten with
In Christian weddings, rice
and grains are thrown to the bride and groom as they leave the Church,
a symbol of fertility and fruitfulness. After the exchange of vows
at the Church, the guests are invited for a dinner or cocktail,
after which the bride and groom set off for their honeymoon.
Muslims usually celebrate
and obtain blessings at the Mosque, the bride and groom in separate
mosques, before converging for dinner or cocktail, after the exchange
of vows in front of the imam (Muslim officiant). A couple of days
before the wedding, the bride has both hands made up with intricate
designs with mehendi, an ochre-coloured paste, made from the leaf
of the henna plant.
The Chinese weddings are
slightly different to those celebrated in South East Asia. An auspicious
is first chosen by the elders, based on the lunar calendar. Most
often, it is a white wedding, in the conventional white bridal gown,
and vows are exchanged in a Catholic or Christian Church in the
afternoon. After the Church, guests are invited to the traditional
dinner, on tables set for ten covers and each table is served with
ten different dishes.