Language and communication

The main language of the island is “Creole”, which is a French-based patois that evolved amongst the slave workers on the estates, but is really a spoken language. The official written languages are English and French of which French is the more widely spoken. There are also half a dozen Indian languages spoken by the descendants of Indian immigrants, including Urdu.

In practice, for tourists a basic knowledge of French with the addition of sign language and smiles goes a long way for all but the most abstract of conversations.

Mauritian people are generally very gentle and extremely well-disposed towards tourists. They are a very warm and welcoming people and their history has taught them how to coexist happily with others of different backgrounds. Quite naturally shopkeepers and others do appreciate it when a boost to the local economy means a boost to their own personal economy!

The Mauritian people live a much more outdoor lifestyle than Europeans and in many ways are closer to nature: many work in agriculture or grow some of their own food, they are very likely to cycle or walk and many social events and religious events are held outdoors.

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