Sing, Dance, Celebrate

If there is one tradition that best represents Mauritian history, it is Sega. Sega is a style of music AND a style of dance that started with the African slaves that lived on Mauritius in the 18th century.

Sega songs are sung in Mauritian Creole. This is a language that mixes French and several African languages. This language was created as a way for slaves who spoke different African languages to communicate. The words of the first Sega songs talked about hardship and wanting freedom.

Today, Sega is the national dance and music of Mauritius, and people of every culture enjoy its toe-tapping rhythms. Performers still sing in Mauritian Creole, but modern songs talk about love. The traditional outfits were simple and white, but for modern day performances the dancers wear brightly colored costumes.

Sega performers aren’t the only ones who wear bright and bold clothing. The most common formal clothing in Mauritius is the sari. Saris are worn by women, and they are usually made of bold colors and decorated with gold threads.

The sari has been worn in India for more than 2,000 years. In Mauritius, saris are mostly worn during celebrations like Holi or at formal events, like weddings.

The word “sari” comes from a Sanskrit word that means “strip of cloth.” That’s exactly what a sari is: one LONG piece of cloth. It seems simple to wear, but don’t be fooled: it took two people to help get Kat wrapped up!

What music, dance, and clothing are traditional to your culture?