“The Mauritian Creole Language stands out as a connecting link between communities that fosters unity and brotherhood, reinforces mutual respect and tolerance, and unites the people to work together for a common goal”, stated the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, on Saturday morning, at the Caudan Arts Centre in Port-Louis.
He was participating at the opening of a workshop on Mauritian Creole – Atelié Hier zordi diman, organised by the Ministry of Tourism in the context of the 2023 Edition of the ‘Festival Kiltir Ek Langaz Kreol Morisien’, which is being held from 02 December to 10 December 2023 on the theme “Nu langaz – siman linite” and in the presence of other eminent personalities were present at the event.
The Prime Minister highlighted the key significance of the Creole Language in building our national identities. He qualified Creole as a unifying language which strengthens the bonds between the people of Mauritius and enables them to co-exist in peace and unity. He remarked that the festival has become an annual feature and is testimony to the importance that Government attaches to the Creole Language and culture.
According to him, Mauritian Creole is a means for ensuring social cohesion, shared respect, and communication. “Creole Language is part of our common heritage and we, as the Government and policy makers, have a major role in its promotion and development through the provision of appropriate frameworks and regulations, he stated. Other languages such as English and French are of equal importance, he said, while adding that the world has become a global village where communication is key to progress. To this end, he informed that the French Speaking Union Bill will soon be presented at the National Assembly.
The advancement of the Mauritian Creole from its beginnings to its formal recognition as well as its introduction and teaching in schools, in the media and arts and culture, was also highlighted by the Prime Minister. According to Statistics Mauritius, 90% of the population speak the Creole Language at home, which he said, is indicative of the growing importance of the language in the country. Creole Language, he observed, has gone beyond the frontiers in terms of arts and culture and has a rich diaspora.
As for the DPM, he stated that this year marks the holding of the 3rd edition of the festival since 2020 and the event has been given a new dimension for more Mauritians to participate actively and explore our rich culture as well as the Creole Language. To this end, a series of activities will be held across the country for more and more people to join in the celebrations, he said.
“We believe that Mauritian Creole is the solid foundation for our rich heritage to prosper and it is important to valorise every aspects of our culture so that each Mauritian live in unity despite our diversity”, he underlined. The festival, he mentioned, is also an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities relating to the Creole Language. Government, he reiterated, will continue to pursue its efforts for the recognition of the Creole Language both at the national and international level.
For her part, Vice-Prime Minister Dookun-Luchoomun spoke of the initiatives that have led to the introduction and teaching of the Mauritian Creole in schools and its assessments at the level of the Primary School Achievement Certificate and National Certificate of Education, and at the School Certificate. In 2023, 19,462 students in primary schools from Grade 1 to Grade 6 and 8,339 students from Grade 7 to 9 have chosen the Creole Language, she indicated. Moreover, she informed that 209 students have taken part in the examinations for the Creole Language at the National School Certificate.
The VPM also dwelt on the setting up of the Akademi Kreol Repiblik Moris in May 2019 under the aegis of her Ministry to follow up on the development and use of the Creole Language in the Republic of Mauritius. She underscored that one of the main objectives of the Academy was to develop further the orthography, grammar, lexicon, usage and norms of Mauritian Creole and to promote its usage.
A series of activities are on the agenda to mark the festival. They are: an exhibition on Creole Language -Balad dan Galri on 02 December at 13 00 hrs at Caudan Arts Centre; Komedi Morisien on 06 December at 19 00 hrs in Souillac; Komedi Morisien on 07 December at 19 00hrs in Trou D’Eau Douce; Festival Sinema on 08 December at 13 00 hrs at MCine Trianon; Konser Sega Lontan on 08 December as from 18 00 hrs at Residence La Cure; Komedi Morisien on 08 Deceember at 19 00 hrs in Vacoas; Sware Sega Tipik on 08 December at 19 00 hrs in Le Morne; Zourne Zanfan/Zwe Lontan on 09 December at 10 00 hrs in Port-Louis; Gran Konser on 09 December as from 18 00 hrs at Bambous, Curepipe, Flacq, Grand Gaube; Roche-Bois and Rose-Hill; Regat, Manze Kreol Morisien, Expo Artizanal ek Konser on 10 December at 11 00 hrs at Mahebourg Waterfront.