Mauritius is known as a rainbow island because people of different ethnic and religious groups, of varying skin colours, spanning a broad variety of traditions and cultures have lived together since the beginning of development on the island. The rainbow people live together in harmony and peace, in spite of the social and cultural differences.
Instead of being alienated from each other due to the differences, Mauritians have learnt to see past this, and to accept each other by being tolerant and respectful and loving and caring. The ancestors of Mauritians comes from many continents : Africa, Asia, Europe. Some came from China and India, others from England and France, and many other African countries. Each religious group has their own festival that they celebrate throughout the year.
Religious Beliefs In Mauritius
The main religions found on the island are Hinduism (which is generally considered to be the majority) Catholicism, Islam and Buddhism.
Most muslims are of the Sunni groups, a few are Shias and Ahmadis. Hindu groups have many more subgroups and subdivisions; Marathi, Tamil, Telegu, amongst others.
The archbishop of the Mascareignes and the Seychelles is considered to the leader of the Catholic Church. Hindu pandits and Muslim imams also have a revered position. The majority of the Buddhists are also Catholics.
Annually, pilgrimages are done in Mauritius; the Catholics and many of other faiths as well do the Pere Laval pilgrimage. The Hindus walk to Grand Bassin for Maha Shivatree.