The séga song and
dance in Mauritius are a soulful expression of feelings for many
locals. When conditions of work for the African slaves during the
18th century were miserable, they could numb their unhappiness drinking
the arrack (obtained from the sugarcane), sing and dance the night
away to the rhythmic beats of the séga.
Today, times have changed but the séga has maintained
its significance in our society. Many young aspiring and successful
local singers (mostly descendants of the African
slaves) have kept the tradition alive. They are putting into
words, poignant messages of peace and love and sung in our mother
The traditional instruments used are guitar,
the 'triangle', (a piece of iron rod
made to the shape of a triangle) and the ravanne,
which have small iron plates on the side, to add more interest.
To ensure a better sound from the ravanne, the musician usually
pre-heats the surface in the naked flame.
A very sexy dance, the séga
involves a lot of hip movement and only the brightest and most colourful
costumes are good enough to dance the séga. The skirts are
long, ruffled and cut very wide to allow for the spinning movements.
Where can I watch it: mostly
in hotels and in a few selected restaurants: Le
Café de la Plage at Sunset Boulevard in Grand Baie.