Mauritian Culture

Communication

Verbal

  • Indirect Communication: Mauritians tend to avoid conflict or confrontation. People generally tell their conversation partner what they think they want to hear as to avoid hurting their counterpart or causing embarrassment. It is common to find out information indirectly through comments or rumours.
  • Communication Style: Lengthy conversations are common. People tend to focus more on the details of a topic or story at the expense of the basic elements.
  • Language Style: Many Mauritians are multilingual and are used to hearing various languages spoken at one time. Moreover, Mauritians tend not to be offended if they hear a language they do not understand spoken in public.


Non-Verbal

  • Physical Contact: For those of the same gender, holding hands, touching arms or putting hands around shoulders are common and acceptable. The more familiar people are with one another, the more common physical contact is during conversations. Among people of the opposite gender, physical contact is usually kept to a minimum.
  • Personal Space: Mauritians generally keep an arm's length of personal space when conversing with friends and family. People tend to stand farther apart from those that they are not close to. The distance may also be further if the people are of opposite genders.
  • Eye Contact: Generally, eye contact is acceptable in most situations.
  • Hand Gestures: Mauritians may use various hand gestures during a conversation to express a point. Some Mauritians may click their fingers when wanting to attract the attention of another person (this practice is not positively received).
  • Beckoning: To beckon, position your hand with your palm facing the ground and wave your fingers towards yourself. Individual fingers are not used. 

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