Servas
Southern Africa
Customs
And    Courtesies
In Mauritius

I
C
U
S
T
O
M
S
I
I
N
I
M
A
U
R
I
T
I
U
S
I
I
I
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
I
E
S
I
I
N
I
M
A
U
R
I
T
I
U
S
Greetings
  

Mauritians usually shake hands when they meet.The French greeting Bonjour (Good day) is a commonly used term.
Among the Hindu Indians, Namaste is the traditional greeting, especially in rural areas.
A person places the palms together (hands upwards) in front of the chest or chin and says Namaste, sometimes bowing slightly.
English greetings are also acceptable. Among friends and relatives, kissing on both cheeks and hugging is common..

Visiting
  

It is not customary to call before visiting. Guests are always welcome. Soft drinks is served, often with savories, biscuits, or sweets. The host will usually insist that the guest accept food and drink. It is considered polite for the guest to accept and sample everything served. It is not necessary to bring gifts but fruits or biscuits are welcome for the kids.

Eating

  Meals are generally eaten with a spoon and fork, but eating with the fingers of the right hand is popularly practised in Indian wedding ceremonies. A guest is usually given the option of using silverware or eating with the hand. An unexpected guest at dinner time will be invited to share the meal. Even in many Servas Indian homes, the woman of the house will cook but will not eat together with guests. This is the Hindu traditional way. Hindus do not eat beef and pork. Muslims do not eat pork or drink alcoholic beverages. During the lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims go without eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset. Meals are only taken in the evening during the entire month.

Diet

  Rice is the main staple. Roti (Indian flat bread) is also staple for many. French breads are immensely popular, especially as breakfast. Vegetable cooking is common because of religious belief. Indian cuisine is most common, but Creole, Chinese, and spicy variations of all three are also available. Some dishes include faratas (similar to pancakes), chicken curry, briani rice and vegetables with a mixture of meat, chicken, or fish, and a number of spices. Fruits, Indian sweets, dholl puri, pastries, and peanuts are popular snacks during the day and especially during afternoon tea.

Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut have outlets in the main cities.

The People

The Mauritian people are family oriented and religious. They are also optimistic, outgoing, intelligent, and industrious, yet there is a generally relaxed attitude toward life. This is evident in their more casual approach to time schedules. People are more important than schedules. Mauritians have an ability to accept and adopt new ideas and cultures, combining orthodox Eastern philosophical values with a Western sense of rationalism, innovation, and achievement. Mauritians are friendly, hospitable, and generous.

Life Style

  With a strong emphasis on family solidarity, it is common to find extended families with aunts, uncles, and other relatives living together. There is great respect for the elderly; it is the duty of their children to take care of them. Traditionally, families have been large. However, the trend now is to have two or three children. However, there is a definite trend towards adopting western lifestyles even in family relationship.

Recreation

Soccer and politics is the national sport. Horse racing (from May to December) is a popular spectator activity. Movies and television are the primary entertainment along with informal social gatherings among friends and family. Bars, where men gather to talk and drink, are found in both rural and urban areas. Mauritians enjoy going to the beach especially during the weekend and public holidays. Mauritians increasingly go to discos, casinos, cyber cafés, restaurants and bowling houses.