Mauritian of Indian origin

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Total population
Creole · English · French · Hindi · Marathi · Tamil · Telugu · Urdu · Bhojpuri
Hinduism, Islam, Others

Mauritian of Indian origin, also known as Indo-Mauritians, are Mauritians people whose ancestors are from the Indian Subcontinent. They currently make up more than 68% of the Mauritian population.


People from British India first arrived in Mauritius to work as indentured labourers, commonly referred to as coolies, that were intended to work in sugarcane fields. Indentured laborers were mostly brought from the state of Bihar, with a large number of Tamil and Telugu people amongst them. A sizeable portion of labourers were Marathi-speakers from Maharashtra.

Non-indentured arrivals from India had their origins largely in Punjab, Gujurat and Sindh. As free immigrants, these later arrivals were commonly employed by the British in the armed forces, police forces, as security personnel, especially those from the Punjab and Bombay Presidency with a substantial portion of immigrants from Gujarat and Sindh arriving as traders, businessmen and merchants.

In the late 19th to early 20th century, Chinese men in Mauritius married Indian women due to both a lack of Chinese women and higher numbers of Indian women on the island.[2][3] The 1921 census in Mauritius counted that Indian women there had a total of 148 children with Chinese men.[4][5][6] When the indenture system was abandoned, Indian immigrants had already formed the majority of the population of the island. There were later waves of immigrants to complement them.


Today the population consists of mainly Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Bahais. The mother tongue of almost all Mauritians is the Mauritian Creole, while a minority of Indo-Mauritians still use both their ancestral language and Creole at home. Indo-Mauritian use their ancestral languages mostly in religious activities, some of them include Hindi, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Telugu. Some Indian Muslims can also speak Arabic.

Indian influence[edit]

Indo-Mauritians have had an impact on Mauritian culture dominating the economic and political faces of the island. Mauritian politics have been historically dominated by the Indo-Mauritian community due to their majority as a whole on the electoral platform. All presidents except Karl Offmann and all prime ministers except for Paul Berenger have been members of the community. Most Hindu celebrations are public holidays. Indian influence is felt in religion, cuisine and arts. Indian influence is also felt on music wherein the island has its own groups of Bhojpuri and Tamil Sega. Indian films are also popular.

Notable people[edit]


Football is the most popular sport amongst Mauritians. Vikash Dhorasoo, who played for French football team, is of Indo-Mauritian origin.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ Government, India (2012). "Population of Non-resident indians country wise". 
  2. ^ Marina Carter, James Ng Foong Kwong (2009). Abacus and Mah Jong: Sino-Mauritian Settlement and Economic Consolidation. Volume 1 of European expansion and indigenous response, v. 1. BRILL. p. 199. ISBN 9004175725. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ Paul Younger Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies McMaster University (2009). New Homelands : Hindu Communities in Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad, South Africa, Fiji, and East Africa: Hindu Communities in Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad, South Africa, Fiji, and East Africa. Oxford University Press. p. 33. ISBN 0199741921. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  4. ^ Huguette Ly-Tio-Fane Pineo, Edouard Lim Fat (2008). From alien to citizen: the integration of the Chinese in Mauritius. Éditions de l'océan Indien. p. 174. ISBN 9990305692. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  5. ^ Huguette Ly Tio Fane-Pineo (1985). Chinese Diaspora in Western Indian Ocean. Ed. de l'océan indien. p. 287. ISBN 9990305692. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ "What Inter-Ethnic Marriage In Mauritius Tells Us About The Nature of Ethnicity". p. 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-22. Retrieved May 17, 2014.