As I’m from Bihar, I was told “you are going to visit your country cousins” ahead of my trip to Mauritius. And there they were, Mauritians speaking Bhojpuri with a mix of French and English accents.
After gaining independence from the Portuguese in 1968, the island became a republic in 1992 and has an interesting mix of population with Indian, African, European and Chinese origin. So alongside English and French-based Creole, visitors from India get to hear Bhojpuri spoken here.
More India connections surface as locals speak of their love for Amitabh Bachchan. And no talk about Indian movies is complete without a mention of the Rajesh Khanna starrer Souten. Though the movie released back in 1983, it still holds a warm place in the hearts of locals as it showcases several exotic locations in that country.
Last year, nearly half a lakh Indian tourists visited Mauritius. India is its fifth-largest tourism market and the Mauritian tourism board hopes to soon attract one lakh tourists annually.
“We are very hopeful that Mauritius would continue to register an increase from India in 2013,” says Vijaye Haulder, Deputy Director of Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority.
Full report here Business Line