How This African Island Became an Indian Cultural Hotspot

Fodor’s Travel. Oct 2022.

Growing up in India, I often watched many Bollywood movies where the actors magically broke into a vibrant dance and song in a foreign land. Backgrounds of pristine white sand beaches, dramatic waterfalls, and seven colored Earths profoundly influenced the lifestyle and thinking of the viewers. With its proximity to India and opulent symbolizations, Mauritius became a dream destination among Indian honeymooners and vacationers.

But until I visited the African island myself recently, I discovered that Mauritius wasn’t just a beach destination with bikini-clad merrymaking tourists floating on expensive yachts and diving with rich marine life in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Though many travelers choose to stay in the bubble of their all-inclusive resorts, if you venture beyond the pampered luxury of private villas and plunge pools, you will find an eye-opening connection to Indian history and culture.

From the first moment I landed at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolan International Airport, my ears tuned to myriad familiar languages: Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Bhojpuri, as well as English. My driver, who worked at the Four Seasons Resort, had brown skin and dark hair like me. As we drove along the shoreline, passing small fishing villages, we casually chatted about our possible mutual heritage and realized that even across centuries and continents, our cultural footprint was pretty similar. He was a fifth-generation Mauritian who had never been to India but was a staunch follower of the Hindu religion. I grew up in India and visited frequently, but never associated myself with the religious practices.

~ Continue reading on Fodor’s Travel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.