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Mauritian Culture

The Mauritian people are a rich mix of African, Chinese, Indian, Muslim and European descent, creating a colorful and rich multicultural society. Mauritians work and play together, celebrating each other’s religious ceremonies throughout the year in an overall harmonious society which spills over to create an authentic warm welcome to all its visitors.

Every Mauritian is brought up with the Sega dance. Rhythmic, lively music, colourful Creole lyrics, the Sega is seen and lived as the dance expressing freedom and ' joie de vivre'.
This dance specific to Mauritius originated from the slaves brought from Africa. Dancing around the fire at the end of a hard day’s work was obviously their way to temporarily put aside the painful moments of their miserable existence. Today, Sega is the national dance heard everywhere on beaches, in shops, in hotels and on each and every occasion for entertainment.

Traditional Sega is played with the basic instruments known as the ravanne, the maravanne and the triangle. The beat of the drums, the shuffling of feet, the swaying of hips are part and parcel of the music. One can still find these local spontaneous Sega parties around a bonfire in remote village areas or on beaches.

Even if nowadays the Sega has evolved with modern instruments and features contemporary musical influences, traditional Sega has its own circle of devotees and poets. The most famous was Ti Frère, who died at the age of 92 and left us a fantastic legacy.

Young people now favour another form of music, where local rhythms have been mixed with reggae. This has given birth to 'seggae' which is a form of expression adopted by a number of local groups and artists.

Cultural Dances and Shows
Besides the Sega, all the different communities have their own folkloric dance. For each religious festival, there are national shows organized at Stadiums or halls where artists from 7 years old to 77 years old participate.

The 12th of March, the Independence Day, is a golden opportunity to view the panorama of culture in Mauritius. Each religious community comes up with a cultural performance while the National Police force provides a spectacular parade.

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