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Cultural Historical Association of Rodriguans & Mauritians in Victoria Inc.

Mauritius and Rodrigues

Mauritius is a small island of volcanic origin off the coast of Madagascar and is located in the South West of the Indian Ocean . It is only 67 km (42 miles) in length and 46 km (29 miles) at its widest point, has an area of 1865km (730 sq miles)². For a long time it has been the hidden jewel, referred to by some as the "Crossroad of the World", the "Eighth Wonder of the World", and the "Star and the Key of the Indian Ocean ".

As a political entity, the now Republic of Mauritius includes not only the island of Mauritius, but also the Island of Rodrigues, as well as the Cargados Garayos Archipelago (known as St Brandon) and two uninhabited Agalega islands.

Rodrigues is also an island of volcanic origin, some 550 kilometres to the north-east of the island of Mauritius . With an area of 110 square kilometres, it is known as the tenth district of the Republic of Mauritius . It has a sheltered lagoon of about 200 square kilometres and is surrounded by over a dozen islets.

The warm climate and the blue-green sea gently lapping the sandy shores attract many tourists. This tropical paradise is populated by warm, hospitable and friendly people whose ancestors came from all over the world.

Mauritius and Rodrigues are tropical paradise, abounding in exotic flavour and beauty. Mark Twain was so mesmerised by its beauty that he wrote, " You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius " (Following the Equator, 1897). The various population movements of the 18th , 19th and early 20th centuries have made the islands a unique blend of different races, cultures and religions. People of European, Creole (African/European mix), Indian and Chinese origins have created a multiracial society where various cultures and traditions flourish in peace and harmony.

Despite all this many Mauritians and Rodriguans chose to migrate to Australia for various reasons. Although the community is relatively small in comparison to other ethnic groups living in Australia , Mauritians and Rodriguans and their offsprings have had a significant cultural and social impact in Australia and particularly in Victoria where over 8,228 (Census 1996) Mauritius born persons live. The 1996 Census states that 10,683 second generation are of Mauritius-born parents, added to the number of Mauritius-born persons Australiawide, this is an estimated community size of 27,759 Australia wide.

The Population of Mauritius as at 23 October 2017 was estimated to be 1,266,129, this includes Rodrigues with a population of approximately 34,000 inhabitants. Most Mauritians and Rodriguans are bilingual, English is the official language, French and Creole are widely spoken, and so are Oriental languages such as Tamil, Hindi, and Mandarin.

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