Meet The Leaders and Their Cultures: The Interview - Bibi

Bibi is an Accounting Level 4 Apprentice and a Network Leader for the Multicultural Network, check out the interview below:

What is your favourite thing about your culture?

I was born on the island of Mauritius and moved to London when I was 12. My family is from Port-Louis, the capital city of Mauritius, which ironically is the smallest city in the country. My favourite thing about Mauritius is that it is full of different cultures and traditions mainly because of the diversity.We have the Franco-Mauritian, Sino-Mauritian, Indo-Mauritian, Afro-Mauritian and Creole-Mauritian, thus the cultures and traditions vary. As Mauritius does not have a single culture, it brings together several unique and distinctive cultures, and different customs and traditions have settled on these shores over the past 400 years.

This rich diversity of cultures is found in all aspects of Mauritian life. Churches can be found next to a mosque and Indian temples next to Chinese pagodas. Various Indian beliefs, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim festivals are celebrated with great fervour and dedication throughout the year by different communities. Some of these celebrations can be quite spectacular!

What kind of traditions do you have in your culture?

If I have to pick a favourite thing about the traditions, it would be the Sega. Sega is the Musical Expression of the Mauritian Way of Life: Joy and Liveliness. The Sega is usually sung in Creole (mother tongue of Mauritians). 

The ambiance of Sega is infectious. Traditionally stimulated and inspired by locals, the fishing folks gather around a campfire. Very often they dance without any music at all and are accompanied only by the sound of the” Ravanne” (a traditional musical instrument), the tinkling of spoons, the rattling of seeds/sand in a tin, and the clapping of hands of spectators who eventually join in .

Another tradition that we have is called The "Sundowner" - literally the "sunset" - is a traditional weekend and holiday ritual during which the Mauritians meet on the beach to enjoy the last rays of the sun: a very pleasant moment, especially in summer.

 

Give us a fun fact about your culture/country?

Le Morne Brabant played a significant role in the country’s history!

The iconic Le Morne Brabant mountain played a surprising and significant role in a part of the country’s checkered past. In the 18th and 19th century, the mountain was actually a refuge for escaped slaves who used the caves in the mountain to form settlements. The slaves lived here for years until soldiers arrived - who actually came to tell them of their liberation, but who the slaves thought were there to bring them back to the plantations from which they escaped. As a result, many slaves jumped to their death, as the thought of returning to their dire circumstances was considered worse than ending their lives.

I had the chance to climb this mountain when I went back in 2019! It took us 3 hours to go up! Picture taken by me :) 

What is the best place to visit in your country?

Whilst I would recommend to visit all the beaches in Mauritius and do all the water activities, i.e swimming with turtles and dolphins, snorkeling and water sports;

 

My favourite places would be La Vallee Des Couleurs Nature Park to witness 378 coloured Earth and walk on the Nepalese Bridge, visiting the Chamarel Waterfall and as for the beaches, I would recommend Grand Bay, Pereybere, Cap Malheureux and Grand Gaube!

 

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