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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mauritius - Fun Facts About Land of the Dodo



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By Alejandro Guevara Onofre Platinum Quality Author




A Multiracial Society

The Dodo

Did you know- Inspired by the Dodo, a rare bird found only on Mauritius in the 17th century, Lewis Carroll published his famous book " Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" in 1865. This unique bird is the symbol of Mauritius, one of the most beautiful Islands on Earth.

Geography

Did you know- Mauritius is a leaf-shaped island in the south west Indian Ocean. The country covers 700 square miles (2,045 square kilometers). The Island - a nation slightly smaller than Delaware-- is dominated by mountains, rain forests, valleys and two lakes (Grand Bassin and the Mare aux Vacoas).Finally, the Republic of Mauritius has an exceptional natural beauty.

Life Expectancy

Did you know- Life expectancy is 73 years (among the highest of the world's developing countries).

Tourism

Did you know- Mauritius -- with African, British, French (the island's earliest known inhabitants), Chinese and Indian roots-- is blessed with one of the world's most beautiful beaches. It is a tropical Eden surrounded by golden beaches and world-class resorts. Because of this, among others reasons, thousands of visitors, from the United States, France, South Africa to Sweden and Japan, came to the country, one of the most amazing islands on the planet, along with Hawaii, Bali, Okinawa, and The Bahamas. In addition to having spectacular beaches, Mauritius offers other attractions, from excellent French cuisine to national parks, multicultural traditions, historic sites, African gardens, museums, and wildlife refuges (a number of wild animals and vegetation exist nowhere else in the world). Over 10 percent of the Island's territory consists of protected areas. There are also free-trade zones. Finally, the Island, since then, is famous for its hospitality.

World-famous Visitors

Did you know- By 1912 Mahatma Gandhi - one of the biggest names in modern history-- visited the Island.

Port Louis

Did you know- Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius. It was set up in 1736 by France. The capital is home to up to 40 percent of the Island's population. The country's other cities include Beau Bassin/Rose Hill, Quatre Bornes, and Vacoas-Phoenix.

Human Development

Did you know- In the last decades, the Island --a democratic society for over 40 years-- has moved from being one of East Africa's poorest nations to being one of the developing world's most prosperous countries, outpacing Bolivia (a resource-rich South American country ), Indonesia (an oil-rich nation in Asia) and Myanmar (a timber-rich country in Southeast Asia). From the 1970s on, the national government has stepped up efforts to improve the human development on the Island, from health, education, nutrition to employment. In 1997 Mauritius ranked 61 of 170 countries in the United Nations Human Development Index. Ironically, this English-speaking country is not blessed with natural resources, such as oil, diamonds and gold. The tourism and sugar industries have transformed the Island into a middle-income country in the world.

African Wonders

Did you know-There are at least two World Heritage Sites on Mauritius:

-Aapravasi Ghat

-Le Morne Cultural Landscape

Entertainment

Did you know- By the end of 1975, at the 24th Miss World Pageant in the United Kingdom, Miss Mariella Tse-Sik -Sun, the Island's contestant, caught the eyes of the international judges and was one of the top 15 semi-finalists.

Democracy

Did you know- By the 1970s and 1980s, while Latin America had a host of dictatorships, from Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina to Panama and Paraguay, Mauritius became a democratic society on the continent of Africa. In addition to being one of the Continent's oldest democracies, the Island is one of the world's longest continuous democracies, along with India, America, France, Canada, and Great Britain. This English-speaking country also has a good human rights record.

Economics

Did you know- The main economic sectors are sugar cane (its top money earner), offshore services, tourism (a top-priority), clothing, tea, and jewellery. About 35 percent of the nation's total exports to the world are to Britain; meanwhile about 12 percent of the world's total exports to Mauritius are from France. On the other hand, in recent decades, the government has stepped up efforts to reduce its economic dependence on sugar (an important source of income).

All Africa Games

Did you know- The Olympic team finished 38th in the medals table at the 2007 African Games in Algiers, the capital of Algeria.

Diplomatic Relations

Did you know- Since the 1960s, the Island has maintained cordial ties with France, America, and the United Kingdom. Mauritius also maintains good relations with India and East Africa, as well as with South Africa, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China. From 1968 to 1990, this English-speaking country was an anti-apartheid leader in the Third World. Because of links between South Africa and New Zealand, the Republic of Mauritius, along with other black states of Africa, boycotted the Games of the XXI Olympiad in the mid-1970s.

Major International Organizations

Did you know- The Island belongs to the United Nations (on April 24, 1968 ).

Alejandro Guevara Onofre: Freelance writer. Alejandro is author of a host of articles/essays about over 220 countries and dependencies (and American States as well), from ecology, history, tourism and national heroes to Olympic sports, foreign relations, and wildlife. In addition, he has published some books on women's rights, among them "History of the Women in America" and "Famous Americans".

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