Motherland (anthem)

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Not to be confused with National Song (Montserrat).
Motherland
Coat of arms of Mauritius (Original version).svg

National anthem of  Mauritius
Lyrics Jean Georges Prosper
Music Philippe Gentil
Adopted 1968
Music sample

"Motherland" is the national anthem of the island country of Mauritius. The music was composed by Philippe Gentil M.B.E. and the lyrics were written by Jean Georges Prosper (Mauritian poet born in 1933). The anthem is short and briefly describes the lucious landscape of Mauritius. It also mentions the qualities of its people: peace, justice, and liberty.

The national anthem is composed in English and was first played during the Independence Day of 12 March 1968. Labour Party ruled Mauritius from the time of independence in 1968 to 1982. During 1982, opposing Mauritian Militant Movement won the 1982 elections. The party decided to establish Mauritian Creole as the national language and wanted to sing the national anthem in Creole during the 15th Independence Day on 15 March 1983. The move was sternly opposed by the alliance partners against the use of Mauritian Creole the party lost power in 1983.

Background[edit]

Mauritius was a British Colony from 1810 and became an independent state on 12 March 1968, with Elizabeth II as Queen of Mauritius, represented as head of state by the Governor-General. The last governor, Sir John Shaw Rennie served as the first governor-general until 27 August 1968.[1] A Competition was held to choose the best anthem and Jean Georges Prosper, a popular poet won the competition and Motherland was chosen as the anthem. The music was later composed by Police band musician Philippe Gentil M.B.E..[2] During the announcement of independence, Sir John Shaw Rennie was the last Governor and observed the lowering of the flag of England by Lieutenant D.E. Wenn from the British side. The flag of Mauritius was hoisted by Inspector Palmyre of the Special Mobile Force (SMF) from the Mauritian side. "God Save the Queen", the anthem of Britain was played for the last time, while "Motherland" was played for the first time. It was followed by firing of 31 salvos in the harbor and loud cheer from the crowd.[1]

Anthem[edit]

English lyrics French lyrics
Glory to thee, Motherland

O motherland of mine.
Sweet is thy beauty,
Sweet is thy fragrance,
Around thee we gather
As one people,
As one nation,
In peace, justice and liberty.
Beloved Country,
May God bless thee
For ever and ever.

Gloire à toi (Île Maurice),

(Île Maurice,) Ô ma mère patrie,
Fraîche est ta beauté,
Doux est ton parfum,
Nous voici tous debout,
En un seul peuple,
Une seule nation,
En paix, justice et liberté,
Pays bien aimé,
Que Dieu te bénisse,
Aujourd'hui et toujours.

[3]

Aftermath[edit]

Critics consider that the national anthem failed to inspire people during not so prosperous times of economy when communalism and casteism make a headway. There is a strong criticism in sections of media that though the anthem states unity as the prime strength of the nation, the nation stands divided even after 40 years of independence.[4] Unity described as the strength of the nation as quoted as “as one people as one nation” is also posted as a challenge the country faces at the face of globalization. The harmony and cultural mix of different religious communities of the country are also not seen united in the nation.[5] The unrest during 1969 clashes between Muslims and Creoles and the football tournaments till 1980 conducted on community basis are commonly quoted to show the indifference.[6] Labour Party ruled Mauritius from the time of independence in 1968 t0 1982. During 1982, opposing Mauritian Militant Movement won the 1982 elections. The party lead by Paul Berenger, who was also the Finance Minister, decided to establish Mauritian Creole as the national language and wanted to sing the national anthem in Creole during the 15th Independence Day on 15 March 1983. The announcement was made during the state run television. The move was sternly opposed by the alliance partners against the use of Mauritian Creole the party lost power in 1983.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Selvon, Sydney. A New Comprehensive History of Mauritius Vol 1. p. 364. ISBN 9789994934942. 
  2. ^ Government of Mauritius. "National Anthem". Retrieved 21 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "Hymne de Maurice - Mère Patrie (Motherland - National Anthem Mauritius)". Lyrics Translate. 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "COMMUNALISM AND CASTEISM: "United we stand, divided we fall"". Lemaurician. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Maurer, Sylvie. "Former British Colony Mauritians in the Face of Globalisation". Antrocom Online Journal of Anthropology (PDF). 7 (2): 235–250. ISSN 1973-2880. 
  6. ^ Cheong-Lum, Roseline Ng (2009). CultureShock! Mauritius: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette. Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd. ISBN 9789814435604. 
  7. ^ Eisenlohr, Patrick (2006). Little India: Diaspora, Time, and Ethnolinguistic Belonging in Hindu Mauritius. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520248793. 

External links[edit]