Rodrigues Island, A Shining Diamond…
Rodrigues, or “Île Rodrigues” in French, or “Rodrig” in the native Creole language, is a volcanic island located in the Indian Ocean and it is an autonomous outer island of Mauritius. The capital is, Port-Mathurin.
A Short History Of Rodrigues
Historically, it was the Arabs who were the first to sail in the Rodrigues’s regions in the 1200s. The geographer Ash-Sharif al-Idrisi, had an illustration of the island on his map. Normally, the island’s name was obtained from the Portuguese explorer, Diogo Rodrigues in the end of 1520s. In addition, it was also known as “Dina Arobi” same as Mauritius.
When the Dutch was sailing nearby, they visited Rodrigues regularly. It was during that time they introduced animals, foods and other commodities. A famous personality, François Leguat started developing the farming sector in the end of 1690s. Unfortunately, the plan was not successful.
After that, the French came to develop the island. When the British came to fight against the French, they took possession of the island in 1809. Rodrigues, at that time had immigrants from African regions who were slaves. Additionally, slavery was abolished in the British regime, same as for Mauritius during the same period, in the 1830s.
Became Autonomous In 2002
Rodrigues Island became autonomous in 2002, but still forms part of Mauritius since 1968. The subject whether it will be fully independent one day is still debatable and questionable.
The people of Rodrigues are Mauritian citizens. They are very nice and always helpful. They are composed of different religious backgrounds and multilingual as well. The mother-tongue is Mauritian Creole, with a little different accent. English and French are the main national languages.
Cultures & Arts
As it is a mixed population, Rodrigues has different cultures. The traditional cuisines are very popular, tasty and unique, mostly include seafood. The traditional music is Séga, similar with Mauritius but more rhythmic with “tambourine”, a musical instrument popular in Africa. Regarding sports, football and volleyball are the most popular.
Economy & Politics
The economy is fully dependent on agricultural and farming sectors. Exportation of animals and agricultural foods are among the main sources of income for the island. Since recent years, the tourism sector has known a boom. Many people visit Rodrigues every year because of its peaceful environment compared to Mauritius. Gradually, this island is being known to the world. Even that, Rodrigues still remains dependent on Mauritius in economic fields.
Free education and healthcare
Education and healthcare are provided freely like in Mauritius. The transport system relies primarily on bus, car and 4×4 as well as motorcycle/scooter. Moreover, it has a small airport in Plaine Corail and a sea port in Port-Mathurin.