It is important to be aware of the diversity of traditions and practices regarding etiquette in Mauritius. Given the different social among cultural and religious groups, each community has their own understanding of what constitutes respectful or normal behaviour. If unsure about how to be respectful, do not hesitate to ask your Mauritian counterpart or at least observe the people around you for guidance.
- What is considered appropriate clothing is dependent on one’s and religious background. As a general rule, it is respectful to dress conservatively.
- When entering a place of worship, remove leather garments such as shoes and belts.
- For Indo-Mauritians, it is considered poor etiquette to pass or receive items with the left hand. Rather, one would use the right hand or both.
- Always respect elders and make sure to properly greet them.
- The type of hospitality a visitor receives is determined by the religion and cultural customs of the host.
- It is usually not customary to inform someone before visiting. Unannounced visits are welcome. However, this is becoming less common due to longer work hours and more connectivity via mobile phones.
- Unexpected guests at meal time will be invited to share the meal.
- Sunday afternoon is a common time for people to visit one another since it is usually the time when people are less busy.
- The host will offer food and drink such as biscuits and tea. They will insist that the guest accept the offer.
- It is considered polite for the guest to take the offer and try everything served.
- Guests are not expected to bring gifts, but small snacks for children, such as fruit, are welcomed.
- Meals are usually eaten with a spoon and fork.
- Eating with one’s right hand is common practice at Indian events, such as weddings.
- A guest will often be given the option of using cutlery or eating with their hand.
- Some Mauritians may have dietary restrictions based on their religious faith. For example, Muslim Mauritians usually perceive pork as a forbidden food. For many Hindu Mauritians, cows are considered sacred, and the consumption of beef is avoided.
- Mauritians typically eat three meals a day.
- Muslim Mauritians will partake in the Islamic custom of fasting during the month of Ramadan.
- Some gifts will be inappropriate depending on one’s religious affiliation. For example, gifts made from leather may offend someone who identifies as Hindu. Gifts relating to pigs, such as pork or pigskin, would be inappropriate to give to someone who identifies as Muslim.
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