Mesmerizing Mauritius, Tiny Island in the Indian Ocean
Mauritius is an island nation in the middle of Indian Ocean, part of Africa continent. The island was colonialized by the Dutch, the French and the British. It’s no surprise that the Mauritians speak fluent French and English. In addition to French and English, the majority speaks Creole. Its official language is English (source) but without national languages. Despite its small size, multi ethnicities characterize its population. Majority of the people are Indian descent, then followed by the Creoles of African and European descent and the Sino Mauritians from mainland China.
Imagine how the diversity of the famous cuisine in the world (French, Indian, and Chinese) affects the Mauritian kitchen. Three letters: Yum! I love the Mauritian Vermicelli dessert, and their street food; Dholl puri/Dhal Puri (national street food of Mauritius) and Piment cari frire (chili peppers dipped in a tasty batter and fried).
Just writing about the foods in Mauritius, it reminds me of the extinction of Dodo bird, the endemic bird in Mauritius. A familiar story on Dodo’s extinction was that because of the Dutch, as the first settler in the island, consumed the bird to its extinction. However, this story has been set straight by an excavation finding in Mauritius. According to a report by BBC (source), the waste pits in the early Mauritian settlements were full of animal bones from the Dutch dinner table, but there was not a single dodo bone. Further research found the extinction was more likely caused by the ship rats and other animals that brought with the settlers spread across the island, eating the dodo eggs and outcompeting the birds for food. Sounds a familiar cause that happened to the Galapagos Giant Tortoise in Ecuador.
Belle Mare, Mauritius
We visited Mauritius for ten days, spent the days mostly in its water for scuba diving (the post will come later!) and touring the island. Although it is a small island, the island offers numerous touristic places to visit. One of them is the Seven Coloured Earths, a unique geological formation in the south-western part of Mauritius.
the Seven Coloured Earths, Mauritius
Visiting Mauritius reminds me of a wonderful quote from a book by Dave Barry, “Another great thing about travel: It often serves to remind you that the world is full of things that are not about you.” And it serves our travel in Mauritius, despite its tiny, the island is mighty for its nature and diversity.