Chinese community stands out in Port Louis, Mauritius

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Mauritius, with a population of less than 1.5 million people, is an interestingly multi-ethnic nation.

The ethnic mixture found in the small African island is attributed to the fact that various colonial powers had stints in the country.

History tells that the first inhabitants of the island were the Dutch, who were then followed by the French before the British took over.

During the post-slavery era, the Britons introduced the famous ‘Great Experiment’ in Mauritius, the first time workers were paid in any part of the world.

The Britons brought indentured labourers from across the world, including India, China and other parts of Africa.

The Chinese community has thus been occupants of Mauritius since the 18th century.

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Through the years, the Chinese community that lived in Mauritius grew to significant numbers and settled fully in the island.

Generation after generation, the Chinese community have established themselves as a core part of Mauritius, being part of the development of the island.

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With their hard-working nature, the Chinese went as far as establishing  a region within the city, Port Louis, and named in China Town.

China town gives a taste of China, as traders here mainly sell Chinese products, artefacts and traditionally China-associated goods.

Various associations have sprung up in China Town with the aim of preserving the Chinese culture and traditions. This has helped the many people of Chinese-origin who never grew up in Beijing to get a taste of what China would have felt like.

China Town has a lot of Chinese restaurants established in it, serving traditional Chinese food, and these have all been well received in Port Louis.

Though leaders from China Town decry a reduction in the population of the Chinese ethnic group in Mauritius, there is a lot of optimism that times ahead will attract even more Chinese people to move to Port Louis.

The Chinese community in Mauritius accounts for about four percent of the nation’s population.

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