26 November 2018

Mauritius: Mauritian Creole Is a Unifying Element in the Enhancement of Social Harmony and Peace, Says Prime Minister

press release

The promotion of the Mauritian Creole as a unifying element in the enhancement of social harmony and peace remains integral in maintaining a sense of common identity among the Mauritian population. Government is committed to cementing the nation as one and raise the status of the language on the international front.

This statement was made by the Prime Minister, Minister of Home Affairs, External Communications and National Development Unit, and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, at the opening of a half-day Conference organised in the context of the 13th edition of the Festival International Kreol on 24 November 2018 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Balaclava.

Several personalities including the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Anil Gayan, the Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity, and Environment and Sustainable Development, Mr. Etienne Sinatambou, and the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Stephan Toussaint, were present on this occasion.

In his keynote address, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted the importance of the Mauritian Creole as a cultural heritage derived from the intermingling of several languages used during the colonial period by our ancestors coming from India, China, Africa and Europe. He underlined that Mauritian Creole is, today, the most used vernacular language in the country while expressing his pride in its evolution and development over more than three centuries.

On this score, he reiterated Government's continuous efforts for the expansion of the language not only as a lingua franca but also as a medium of learning and teaching. He recalled the formal introduction of the language at primary and secondary level and pointed out that it is important for each and every Mauritian to have a sound knowledge of the Mauritian Creole.

The Prime Minister underscored that the celebrations of the Festival International Kreol have added up to the status and appreciation of the Mauritian Creole at both national and international levels. The fervour with which the activities are being held, he said, is evidence of Government's commitment to valorise the culture, practices, beliefs and forms of art prevalent in the country.

He further laid emphasis on the recognition of the diversity of cultures pertaining to Mauritius and Rodrigues on the international front, following the inscription of Sega Tipik, Geet Gawai, Sega Tambour of Rodrigues on the UNESCO World list of Intangible Heritage. He also expressed hope for Sega Tambour Chagos to be inscribed on the list, which he said, will put forth the narrative and musical repertoire as well as preserve the heritage of the Chagos.

Minister Gayan, for his part, emphasised that the ability to accept plurality is key to the socio-economic progress of any country while underscoring the need to safeguard the cultural richness of the Mauritian Diaspora and promote the peaceful co-existence of different religion, culture, creed and caste. He thus called for a collective endeavour in preserving the unity and solidarity that prevails in the country.

Festival International Kreol 2018

The 13th edition of the Festival International Kreol was held from 16 November to 25 November 2018 under the theme Kreolite Nou Leritaz. This year, the activities comprised: Fizion Poezi ek Jazz; Bal Rann Zariko; Regat, Festival Kiliner ek Evolision Artizanal; Final Konkour Teat an lang kreol ek Spektak Teat; Konpetision Slam an lang kreol; Sega Lontan; Defile lamod; Sinema an Plenner; Sware Tipik; Sware Konser; Konferans and Karnaval FIK.

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