Originally home to plump dodo birds and other animals only, Mauritius was discovered by humans in the 17th century. Compared to the age of world history, it is therefore still a baby. A baby ruled by three different European powers though, populated by them and the slaves they imported from Africa and Asia.
Mauritius is the place where a mixture of languages includes Creole and Bhojpuri and where traditional music and dances from three continents have fostered the folk dance “Sega”. In Mauritius, the various religious celebrations are shared as national events. Plants from all around the world are harvested and processed, such as the South American “Manioc” (known as Cassava), which is turned into uniquely flavoured biscuits. In this place even the famous French cuisine is being challenged with charming and unconscious ease by a dish for instance as simple as “Rougail”. In other words: Mauritius is a socio- anthropologist’s delight.
Our favourite example of a product springing forth from this historical and cultural melting pot is the Mauritian music and dance style “Sega”. Many definitions of Sega have been based on historical and scientific facts. We from Maurisun would rather like to take a philosophical approach:
Once upon a time, in the Indian Ocean there was a tropical island. In its vast sugar cane fields, slaves from Africa and indentured labourers from India were working hard day by day.
At dusk those of many cultures would meet around the cooking fire. Unable to speak with each other, as their native tongues differed too much and eager to let go of their stress and chagrin, they started to share the melodies, rhythms and sung stories of their homelands.
So the rhythm of the Djembe joined the Daphli, African mystical chants merged with Indian tunes. And when their footsteps started beating the soil rhythmically, a birth took place – the birth of a child called ‘Sega’.
Ever since then, this child has been present in the hearts bodies and everyday life of the islanders.
Sega overcomes all barriers and knows no limitations when it is sung and danced, as its only aim is to make people happy and help them forget suffering and hardship.
So let there be Sega, join in and enjoy yourself!