Not Your Typical Mauritius Fact Sheet
We got the idea for this post because when we looked, all of the ‘fun facts about Mauritius’ were all the same. And mostly boring. Seriously, who really cares if it’s the most populated country in Africa-? Or that the name comes from an Orange prince? Yawn.
So we’ve created our own list at I Do Productions of truly interesting facts. Some of them even surprised us: Historic Tidbits About Mauritius
The Arabs first ‘discovered’ Mauritius in the 10th Century, calling it “Dina Harobi.” Did you also know that they called the island area “Waqwaq?” And that if you want to say someone is “from another planet” in Arabic, you say they come from “Waqwaq Land?”
Jean Georges Prosper (a poet) wrote our Mauritian national anthem, “The Motherland.” He won the open competition that was held in 1968. The composer of the melody, Phillipe Gentil, was a member of the Mauritius Police Force band.
Speaking of police, we don’t have a standing army- we have ‘duty personnel’ that serve and protect Mauritius.
Legend has it that Charles Darwin was the first person to climb “the Thumb,” also known as Le Pouce, our third highest peak.
The Mauritius motto is: “The Star and the Key of the Indian Ocean.“ The unofficial* motto is: “One Country, One Nation, One Destiny.”
Culture and Traditions, Mauritius Style
The most popular baby names in Mauritius recently: Anais, Aurelie or Kelly-Anne for girls; Yash, Hansley or Patrice for boys.
The Irish call Mauritius Oileán Mhuirís, which has a fairly romantic sound.
The flag of Mauritius is red, blue, yellow and green. The meanings depend on who you speak to. For example, the red either signifies bloodshed from our past, freedom, or the indigenous Flame tree. The blue is the Indian ocean; the yellow sunshine; and the green has another debate: either it represents our lush island vegetation or our sugar cane fields.
Mauritian children know that Christmas is close when the Flame trees bloom, since it’s colorful from November to January.
We might live in an exotic paradise, but that in no way makes us flamboyant in our appearance. We’re actually quite conservative, and expect you to respect our ways. That means: no skimpy string bikinis; definitely no nudity; talking about sex isn’t ok; and pornography is illegal.
Seggae is a popular fusion of music combining our beloved Sega with reggae that came about in the mid 80s.
We have 3 holidays that are especially Mauritian: 1st of February is the Abolition of Slavery Day; March 12th is National Day; and the 2nd of November is the Arrival of Indentured Labourers Day.
March 12th was chosen as our independence day because of Mahatma Ghandi’s inspirational Dandi March (also known as the Salt March). It began on the twelfth in 1930.
The Truth About Famous Mauritius Symbols
Sugarcane Little-Known Facts
90% of our island is home to sugar cane fields, which of course lends itself to making excellent rum and sweets. Did you know that sugarcane was ‘discovered’ by Alexander the Great, in 327?
Sugarcane ethanol actually cuts carbon dioxide by 90%. It can also be used to make renewable energy, and is more widely available than oil. Mauritius is greener than we thought!
Our National Symbol, the Dodo Bird
The poor Dodo has a bad reputation. It wasn’t a stupid bird, it was simply a curious and trusting creature that had no natural enemies. It took just 175 years between discovering it to make it extinct.
People weren’t directly responsible for the loss of the Dodo, unlike popular myth (that some of us still partially believe). Or more specifically, the Dutch. In fact, the Dutch nicknamed it the “Walghvogel,” or the “loathsome bird.” It was apparently stringy and foul tasting. The animals they brought with them were more likely the culprits of Dodo extinction.
The Dodo was about 3 feet tall and 50 lbs. That’s a lot of bird.
That’s our collection of fun, funny and odd facts about Mauritius. We hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and please add any of your own fabulous Mauritius facts below.
Thanks for joining us, until soon ~Ido Productions