• From Language to Religion in Mauritian Nation-Building

    Author(s):
    Patrick Eisenlohr (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Anthropology
    Subject(s):
    Religion in South Asia, Language and politics, Nationalism, French Creole, Citizenship
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Mauritius, language and nationalism, language and religion, religion and nation-building
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M68K40
    Abstract:
    In its strategy of postcolonial nation-building with a highly diverse population Mauritius has opted for a multicultural highlighting of the differences in ethnicity and religion among its population. Akin to a mosaic, the Mauritian state officially recognizes the existence of several “ancestral cultures” of its citizenry, above all those of Indian and Chinese ancestry. For Mauritians of Indian background such “ancestral cultures” with associated “ancestral languages” are largely coterminous with religious traditions. The official support for such ancestral languages with ethno-religious connotations was already established at independence while support for the universal vernacular Mauritian Creole that is not tied to a particular religion has only picked up in recent years and is still far from the level of support enjoyed by those cultivating “ancestral languages.” An analysis of the cultural politics of language therefore points to the often hidden centrality of religion and religious difference for cultural citizenship in Mauritius.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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