Tamil Mauritians

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tamil Mauritians
Total population
12.4% of Indo-Mauritians - 6% of the total population (2011 census)
Regions with significant populations
Throughout the country, in Indo-Mauritian majority zones
Tamil, Mauritian Creole, English, French
Hinduism (As per Mauritian conventions, converts to Christianity join the broader Creole population)
Related ethnic groups
Tamil diaspora, Telugu people, Tamil South Africans, Tamil Reunionaise, Tamil Malaysian, Singapore Tamils, Tamil Guyanese, Tamil Trinidadian and Tobagonian, South Indians in Fiji, Dravidians

Tamil Mauritians are the descendants of Tamil people who migrated, from the South Indian regions corresponding to the modern state of Tamil Nadu, to the island of Mauritius.[1]


The first batch of Tamil immigrants were craftsmen and tradesmen who arrived in small numbers after 1727 when Isle de France (Mauritius) was under the administration of France and French East India Company.[2][3] A larger number of immigrants from Tamil Nadu arrived during British rule and after abolition of slavery from 1835 to serve as labourers on the sugar cane plantations.[4][5] From 1834 to 1924 out of the estimated 458,000 indentured labourers who came from all over India to Mauritius, around 114,500 came from the Presidency of Madras. Tamil indentured labourers made up 25% of the total indentured population. From around 1850 Tamil was taught in some schools such as Royal College Curepipe.[6]

Modern times[edit]

Around 12.4 percent of Indo-Mauritians are Tamils. Tamils make up 6 percent of the island's total population of around 1.3 million accounting for around 78,000 people. As per Mauritian social conventions, the "Tamil", "Marathi" and "Telugu" appelations are strictly reserved for members of these respective ethno-linguistic groups who still practice Hinduism. Converts to Christianity join the broader Creole population.[7][8][9] The Tamil population is scattered around the island but mostly lives in the usual Indo-Mauritian majority zones.


Tamil was gradually replaced by Mauritian Creole as the mother tongue of Mauritian Tamils. Nonetheless, most Tamil Mauritians can read and write Tamil as a learnt language. It is one of the asian languages recognised by Acts of Parliament along with Hindi, Urdu, Chinese, Marathi, Telugu and Bhojpuri and as such taught in schools as from age 6. It is one of the languages that students may sit, for their O-Levels and A-Levels[10] Tamil magazines like Pathirikai cater for the community.


Thaipusam, is the principal Tamil Hindu festival, a national holiday in Mauritius and celebrated in various temples across the island. Murugan temples are common and various public places bear Tamil names such as Coromandel near Port Louis (derived from Cholamandalam), Alepo Street, Velore Street, Madras Street, and others.[11][6]

Mauritius currency written in Tamil numerals and Tamil script[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sangeelee, M. "A Brief History of the Tamils of Mauritius". 1966 International Tamil Conference - Seminar Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Retrieved 2020-08-16.
  2. ^ "Mauritius: European settlement and the slave economy (1638-1835)". African Democracy Encyclopaedia Project. EISA. Retrieved 2009-09-15.
  3. ^ The Murukan cult in Mauritius by Khesaven Sornum (2001)
  4. ^ "History of the Tamil Diaspora by V. Sivasupramaniam", murugan.org
  5. ^ Mauritius Government
  6. ^ a b Makhan-Boodhoo, Sarita (8 November 2015). "The Tamil Presence in Mauritius". Mauritius Times. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
  7. ^ Raj, T.V. Antony (7 October 2014). "Tamil on Mauritian Currency". www.tvaraj.com. Retrieved 2014-10-07.
  8. ^ Republic of Mauritius
  9. ^ Republic - Resident population by geographical location and religious group
  10. ^ a b Mo Koz Kreol
  11. ^ "Fascinating Story of How The Coromandel Coast Got Its Name". Better India. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 2020-08-16.