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People, Languages & Religions in Mauritius
 
 
 

People

The largest group on Mauritius, about 68% of the population, is Indo-Mauritian, consisting of immigrants from India and their descendants. About 27% of the islanders are Creole (mixed European and African), 3% Sino-Mauritian, and 2% Franco-Mauritian.

While there is a small population of British citizens living in Mauritius, most of whom have Mauritian nationality, few identify as being Mauritian. The term Anglo-Mauritian, a term which may include Mauritians living in the UK, is used unofficially.

Languages

The Mauritian Constitution makes no mention of an official language and its one million citizens speak mostly Mauritian Creole, a French-based Creole, English and French. It is only in the Parliament that the official language is English but any member of the National Assembly can still address the chair in French. However, English is generally accepted as the official language of Mauritius and as the language of government administration, the courts and business. The lingua franca is Mauritian Creole. In Mauritius, people switch languages according to the situation. French and English, which have long enjoyed greater social status, are favoured in educational and professional settings. Also, most newspapers, such as Le Mauricien and L'Express, and media communications are in French. Mauritian Creole, which is spoken by the majority of the population, is considered to be the native language of the country and is used most often in informal settings. It was developed in the 18th century by slaves who used a pidgin language to communicate with each other as well as with their French masters, who did not understand the various African languages. The pidgin evolved with later generations to become a casual language. Mauritian Creole is a French-based Creole due to its close ties with French pronunciation and vocabulary.

Other languages spoken in certain parts of Mauritius by a limited number of people include Rodriguan Creole and Swahili. The school system of the country make it compulsory for all primary school students to study an oriental language which can be an Indian language (mostly being Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Marathi or Telugu) or a Chinese language (either Hakka or Mandarin), Arabic or an African language such as Swahili. Most Mauritians are at least bilingual, if not trilingual.

Religions

Hindus make up 30%, Roman Catholic 41.6%, other Christians 8.6%, Muslims 16.6% and non-religious 0.4% while other religions up to 2.5%, and an additional 0.3% didn't specify their religious beliefs.

Most Franco-Mauritians and Mauritian Creoles are Christian. A small minority of the Muslim and the Hindu population are of South Asian origin. However, many Mauritians are of mixed descent; this is due to the fact that many of the slaves were mixed up causing many 'mixed races'. These languages are still preserved through the existence of different socio-cultural organisations and with the school systems obliging primary schools' students to study an oriental language. A minority of people are of Chinese descent, many of whom have embraced Christianity, following mainly Roman Catholicism. Some follow Buddhism and Confucian traditions.

 

 
 

 



 


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