Roots of the future
A model for the world
Mauritius is well known for being a vibrant melting pot and Mauritians are also known for their warmth and welcoming nature. This peaceful island and its people can be referred as an example of peaceful co-existence for the world. The world could become a better place where peace, harmony and prosperity thrive if it adopts the Mauritian way as the Roots of the future.
The Story of our ancestors
OUR PEOPLE. OUR WEALTH
Beyond the spectacular landscape and the pristine white sandy beaches, Mauritius is particularly proud of having as main attraction its people.
Hailed as the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius draws indeed its special charm from its culturally diverse, peaceful population that much of the world envies. The first persons to lay eyes on Mauritius were the Arabs around 900 AD.
Engaged in trade along the East African coast, the Arab traders called the island Dina Arobi (Abandoned Island). In 1507, the island was re-discovered by Portuguese navigators who named it Ilha do Cerne (Swan Island) but they did not settle there. The Dutch were the first to try a settlement in 1598 and named the island Mauritius after the Prince Maurits Van Nassau. They used Mauritius as a refueling stop along their trade routes to India but eventually decided to settle permanently in 1638 to prevent the British and the French from taking possession of the island.
Finally, in 1707 the Dutch decided to evacuate the island and they all left Mauritius in 1710. In 1715, Mauritius was claimed by France, but it was not until 1721 that the French made a first attempt at settling in the island they renamed sle de France. It’s important to observe that during the first years of French colonisation, the island’s population was already ethnically diverse as people from Madagascar, Europe, Africa, and Asia were brought – either by will or by force – to the island. It somehow paved the way to the present configuration of the Mauritian population.
Due to its strategic position, sle de France was also coveted by Great Britain. The British raided the island in November 1810 and took over the French colony. The island was once more named Mauritius. Road network was improved, agriculture was modernised and the sugar industry witnessed a spectacular boom. Indentured workers from India (mainly from Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Karikal and Bihar) were brought to the island to make up for the lack of cheap labour when slavery was abolished in 1833. Under British rule, Mauritius witnessed a wave of Gujarati Muslims from India and Chinese migration, mostly from Guangdong. They settled mainly in the heart of Port Louis and both communities made a name for themselves in the trade sector. After nearly four centuries of European rule, Mauritius gained its independence on 12 March 1968. A republic since 1992, Mauritius is hailed as the most prosperous country of the Indian Ocean.