An essay composed with poetry and prose.
The Encyclopedia Britannic informs me that Mauritius, volcanic born and encompassed by coral reefs, is approximately 800 km east of the island of Madagascar. Important information to someone considering a vacation to Africa's eastern coast and the islands of the Indian Ocean. I read further, and find that is island was once home to the Dodo bird, which went extinct in 1681. More interesting to me is the diversity of the country's population, which is composed of various racial, ethnic and religious populations.1
I look at the map of Mauritius2,
and I see
an island nation
in the Indian Ocean.
I look at a photo of the countryside3,
and I see
mountains shaded by white clouds,
and blue sky.
What is my connection to this beautiful country? It is a woman, unrelated to me by blood, but who shares my spiritual path. Ottilie Rhein, who I have never met, went to Mauritius in 1953 to teach the Baha'i Faith. Three years later there were one hundred Baha'is on the in Mauritius. Today Mauritius has several local Spiritual Assemblies and a Nation Spiritual Assembly. Because she was the first person to bring the Baha'i Faith to this island nation, Miss Rhein was named a Knight of Baha'u'llah by Shoghi Effendi4.5
Faith and food
the two most important things
in a person's life
I can find in Mauritius.
One the soul is fed,
than the body
must be energized.
Dholl puri is a Mauritian delicacy, which can be purchased in pair for approximately 14 rupees.6. This delicious sounding food is created from a "ground yellow split pea" pancake seasoned with turmeric and cumin.7 Some of the other ingredients that go into creating this intriguing food is tawa8, cari gros pois9, and rougaille10.11 There are some other ingredients, as well, but the one's I have listed were the most attractive to me. I would love to taste this exotic food because I am sure the taste would be heavenly.
a place for relaxation,
a beautiful sea,
The official name for this island nation is the Republic of Mauritius, which has a long history of encounters with various countries. This history makes the country an intriguing to a writer and a poet (at least, it makes it intriguing to me). From 1638 to 1710, it was ruled by the Dutch, who gave the island its name. From 1715 to 1810 it was known as French Mauritius because the French acquired it from the Dutch. Than from 1810 to 1968 it was British Mauritius.14
In 1968 Mauritius gained its independence from Britain. The island proclaimed its independence from Britain on March 12, 1968 after adopting a constitution. After numerous leaders were elected, a student protest (perhaps a better name would be uprising), and one postponed election, the country became a republic on March 12, 1992. This beautiful Republic, which has a parliament, is divided into nine districts. Mauritius is a democracy and holds national elections every five years.15