Recently, while I was going through the Internet searching for “Interesting and fun facts about Mauritius” I was presented with numerous links.
However, none of the facts that they provided were even close to being interesting and most of the sites had repetitive information! Frankly, who cares whether the name is derived from an Orange prince or if it is the most populated African country? All it did was put me off to sleep!
After waking up, though, I decided to do some research which presented me with some beautiful insights about little known facts in Mauritius. Unlike most of the other facts lists that mostly make up the numbers, here is something you will find really interesting. So just sit back and enjoy this ride as we unravel various facts surrounding the island of Mauritius.
- Mauritius was first discovered by the Arabs in the 10th century who named it “Dina Harobi.” They named the island area as “Waqwaq” and in Arabic when you say that someone belongs “from another planet” you mention that they are from “Waqwaq Land.”
- The Mauritian national anthem “The Motherland” was written by a poet Jean Gorges Prosper. He was the winner of the open competition held back in 1968. Philippe Gentile, the man who composed the melody for the anthem, was a member in the official band of Mauritius Police Force.
- Coming to the topic of police, the country does not have a standing army. There are only “duty personnel” who are tasked with protecting and serving the people of Mauritius.
- Le Pouce, also known as “The Thumb”, is the third highest peak in Mauritius. Legend has it that the first person to conquer its heights was none other than the great Charles Darwin.
- While the official motto of the country is “The Star and Key of the Indian Ocean” there is also an unofficial motto that goes “One Country, One Nation, One Destiny.”
- The national flag, designed in green, yellow, blue, and red, has different meanings to different people. The red could stand either for the indigenous Flame trees or indicate the incidents of bloodshed that are a part of the country’s history. Yellow represents sunshine and blue stands for the Indian Ocean. Green could either point towards the sugarcane fields or the lush island vegetation.
- Mahatma Gandhi’s inspirational Dandi March (or Salt March) began on 12th March 1930. This was why March 12 was chosen as the Mauritian Independence Day.
- The Dodo, an extinct flightless bird, is the national symbol of Mauritius. It has been touted as a dumb creature but truth is it was simply too curious. This was the only place on Earth where the Dodo was found. The Dutch settlers of Mauritius have been blamed for its extinction though they claim the bird was loathsome with a foul and stringy taste, contrary to popular belief. Probably, the animals that followed their masters on to the island were responsible for the extinction drive!
So that’s all the interesting and little known facts about Mauritius, most of which you may not have heard of. Is there any other interesting tid bit that you know but don’t find listed over here? Feel free to include them in the comments section below.