Skip to content

Mauritius Language and Culture

Mauritius is an African nation, but its economy, topography, and population differ considerably from other African countries. With a total land size of just 790 square miles, the Republic of Mauritius is the 27th-smallest nation in the world and ranks fourth on the list of smallest African countries.

The main island of Mauritius is one of the many islands that make up the republic, some of which include Rodrigues Island, the second-largest island in the country, and the Agalega Islands.

There are four major ethnic groups in Mauritius, Indo-Mauritians (67%), Mauritian Creoles (28%), Franco-Mauritians (2%), and Sino-Mauritians (3%).

Officially, the government divides Mauritanians into four ethnic groups: Hindus, Muslims, Chinese, and the General Population, which comprises everyone who does not practice Hinduism or Islam or is not of Chinese ancestry.


The Population & Religion in Mauritius

For the fourth smallest country in Africa and the 27th-smallest in the world, the population of Mauritius is 1,266,060 people as estimated by the world bank. Still, while this country is tiny and has an equally light population, the diversity is undeniable and is explained below.

The prevalent religion in Mauritius is Hinduism(which can be traced to the large Indian populace) which also equates to roughly 48.54 percent of the population, followed by Christianity (32.71%), Islam (17.30%), and those who do not profess any religion (1.45 percent).


National and Local Language Of Mauritius

Mauritius Language and CultureIn contrast to the majority of linguistically varied nations, Mauritius only has 11 primary languages spoken there.

However, per the constitution, Mauritian Creole serves as the country’s lingua franca, while English and French are the country’s official languages.

Although these are the languages written in the constitution, there are still languages that the different ethnic groups speak in the country, and here are the majority languages that are spoken mainly in the country:

  • Mauritian Creole, a member of the French Creole family and contains influences from many Indian and African languages, is spoken by 5% of the country’s total population and has gradually displaced the bulk of people’s ancestral tongue; almost 1.3 million people currently speak it.
    Three (3) distinct dialects exist Agalega, Chagossian, and Rodriguan.
  • Bhojpuri is spoken by the Indian population of Mauritius, accounting for 3% of the Mauritian population. It is one of the 12 dialects of the Bihari branch of Eastern Indo-Aryan languages.
  • French is one of the country’s two official languages; it is spoken by 4% of the population and is of Indo-European origin.

Other minority languages spoken by around 2.4% of the population include English, Tamil, Chinese, and so forth.

Only 1.4% of Mauritian citizens are bilingual (most speak Mauritian Creole and French).


Mauritian Culture and Values

The Four Bands, popularly known as Les Quatre Bandes (French for “the four bands”), is the national flag of Mauritius. It was established upon the island nation’s independence and featured four horizontal bands of equal width that are colored red, blue, yellow, and green from top to bottom.

The color blue symbolizes the Indian Ocean, where Mauritius is located.

The yellow stands for the fresh dawn of independence, and the Green on the flag represent the national color and the agricultural symbol throughout the year.

Mauritius is also a secular state, meaning you can practice whichever religion you choose, but currently, Mauritius is a Hindu-majority country, with 48.5% of citizens practicing it. Christianity is the second-largest religion in the country.

The multicultural setting of Mauritius places a high level of importance on respect for elders and deliberate following of basic etiquette. Still, it is essential to note that tradition and manner of greeting are very different across different ethnic groups.

When meeting for the first time, the most frequent greeting is a firm handshake; once acquainted, people will often greet each other with a ‘la bise’ (the French greeting of a kiss on both cheeks).

Always be careful not to be too demonstrative when speaking to a Mauritian because you would be considered poor-mannered or “Suavaze”.


Mauritian Art and Architecture

The impact of the colonizers, indigenous people, and eventually travelers on the art and culture is a lot, and a very noteworthy one is the séga. This famous folk dance consists of suggestive hip and arm gestures to a melodic beat—the dance developed in the 18th century when enslaved people danced it.

The most amazing part is that this dance is pretty easy to learn for beginners; hence, for visitors, you can have something exciting to pick up while in the country. Unsurprisingly, The Sega folkloric dance is also registered by UNESCO on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list.



The Mauritian architectural style was mainly French, with enormous plantation mansions, covered verandas, and vaulted ceilings.

Both traditional and modern structures are primarily determined by how they were created to adapt to the environment, resulting in a ‘Tropical style’.


Food and Fashion in Mauritius

A few of the essential parts of every Mauritanian dish are Curry and a wide variety of seafood, which is to be expected due to the proximity of the country to an extensive aquatic habitat; here are a few of the most popular Mauritius dishes;

  • Farata: the Mauritian variety of Indian parantha. It is often eaten with curry or chutney (read more on chutney later)
  • Palm Heart Salad: It is an indigenous” Mauritian dish and is made of palm trees are grown for seven years, with seafood added to the salad
  • Dholl puri: aka the queen of Street food, the Puri is a thin flatbread similar to lavash made with mashed yellow peas or lentils and other spices (cumin, turmeric, and so on).
  • Sept Curi: seven(7) vegetarian curries eaten on a banana leaf with rice or puri. It is given by hand. According to the Indian version, seven curries embody six primary tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, hot, and tar.

As everyone knows, fashion is unique to each country, and the fashion style is very creative, especially in Mauritius, which different civilizations have influenced.

But currently, regular Western outfits and dresses are the norm in almost every area of the country, but here are a few remnants that are still used to date.

  • The Sari is a traditional dress for Mauritians of Indian origin. Some traditional Indo-Mauritians wear Dhoti Kurtas, while others mix Dhoti Kurtas with Western-style shirts. Bright jewelry is widely worn by Indo-Mauritian women, particularly those who live in rural areas.
  • Female Sega dancers often wear bright blouses and long skirts in Creole dress (Sega dress), whereas men typically wear wrapped trousers, straw hats, and colorful shirts.
  • Among the Muslim population, traditional women’s wear is Indian apparel of various designs (dresses, trousers, shirts, orhni (a matching veil that covers the head and shoulder areas), and occasionally sari).


Translating for the Mauritian Market

For organizations/firms aiming to localize their products or services in the Mauritian market, it is essential to know that the most spoken language is the French-based Mauritian Creole, which is spoken by an estimated 86.5% of the population (about 1.1 million people out of the total 1.27 million people in the country).

Others including:

  • Bhojpuri: spoken by 5.3% of the Mauritian populace (67,675 people).
  • French: a language of about 4% of the total (56,183 Mauritians).
  • Speakers of two languages: just 4%, which equates to 17875 People.
  • Tamil, English, and Chinese all combine for about 4%, which is about 30,645.

For translating into Creole, the majority language, you would need the services of a translation company. Translation costs will differ from one language service provider to the other and their delivery method. To quickly estimate what to expect, visit the Translation Quick Quote Calculator for an instant translation cost assessment.


Running a Business in Mauritius

Doing business in a new country is hard enough; making it work in a country such as Mauritius is quite tedious, but here are some tips on what to know that can give you an edge.

  • Cultural differences: Because Mauritius is a diverse and multicultural country, it is critical to understand and respect local customs and traditions.
  • Legal and regulatory environment: Before doing business in Mauritius, becoming acquainted with the relevant legal and regulatory environment is critical. Acknowledging the rules and laws that apply to your specific firm, as well as any permits or permissions that may be required, is part of this.
  • Building good business relationships is essential for success in Mauritius. It is critical to take the time to establish rapport and a positive relationship with potential partners or clients.
  • Communication styles in Mauritius may differ from those in other nations. Communicating clearly and directly while also being respectful and open to feedback is critical.
  • When doing business in Mauritius, being punctual and respectful of other people’s time is critical. Adaptability and understanding, if meetings or plans alter at the last minute, are also essential.


Common Mauritian Expression and Translations

There are different languages in Mauritius, and trying to explain all is exhaustive, as Mauritian Creole is the most spoken language in the country. Listed below are some standard terms used in Mauritians’ day-to-day activities.

  • Hello – Bonzur
  • When? – Kan
  • Goodbye – Bye
  • Why? – Ki fer?
  • Thank you – Merci
  • Who? – Ki sa na?
  • Please – S’il vous plaît
  • Where – Kote sa?
  • Toilet – Toilette
  • Market – Bazar
  • Luggage – Valiz
  • Hotel – Lotel
  • I don’t understand – Mo pas compran
  • Excuse me – Exkize moi
  • Sorry – Sori
  • How are you? – Ki Many’r?
  • My name is... – Mo nom li…
  • I am from… – Me sort…
  • What’s your name? – Ki ou non?


Mauritians Celebration

There are thousands of events that happen in a year in Mauritius, but there are only about twelve(12) officially approved state holidays, and apart from the regular New Year, Labor and Christmas Days are all listed below;

  • Ind El Fitr (Lunar); is called the Holiday of Breaking the Fast,” and it is usually celebrated by Muslims to mark the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.
  • Ganesh Chaturthi (August/September); this is a Hindu festival to celebrate the birth of the Hindu god.
  • Diwali (October/November); It is the most significant and famous Hindu/Indian festival, which means “Rows of light,” and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and the overall human ability to overcome trying periods.
  • All Saints (1 November): This is a yearly Roman Catholic celebration to honor all the saints the church has deemed to have attained heaven.
  • Thaipoosam Cavadee (January/February); Thaipoosam Cavadee is a festival observed by the Tamil community in Mauritius to honor the Hindu god of war, Muruga.
  • Mahashivaratri (February/March); The day is the day god Shiva married goddess Parvati, and the day is separated to honor god “Shiva”.
  • Republic Day (12 March); People observe the anniversary of Mauritius’s independence from the Commonwealth.
  • Ugadi-Telugu New Year (March/April): it is the new year of some Hindu cities and means “the beginning of a new age”.



Culture and how it is transferred from generation to generation is significant. The language of different cultures is also fundamental, and when in new countries, communicating in their native tongue is the best way to break the ice.

Language has made it possible for ideas to be shared, and for the Mauritian languages, it is easy to learn when you are willing and ready.

For content localization or introducing business ideas to a new market, it is essential to employ Mauritian translation services to improve the acceptance rate.




Definition of Terms:

  • Suavaze: means someone or something is acting like a savage
  • Dholl Puri is a tiny, pan-fried, packed flatbread Mauritius’s most famous street dish.