Mount Rushmore à la Réunion

Here’s the graffiti I had referenced earlier.  It shows the five main ethnic groups that have gradually intermixed (in a process I have learned is called ‘métissage’) to create the Créole identity on Réunion.  The caption “Nout nation” probably translates to “notre nation”, meaning “our nation”, comprised of “Kafs” (or Cafre in correct French) from mainland Africa and Madagascaar, “Chinois” from China, “Zarabs” (les Arabes) from the Muslim world, “Zoreys” (les Oreilles – “the ears” – I can’t remember why they are called that) from mainland France, and the “Malabar” from southern India.

And today the power went out at my teacher’s house, so I hopped on a bus to go into town and what do you know, there’s a Créole music festival going on by the beach!  I had some sweet videos I wanted to upload, but they aren’t working.  A still will have to do for now.  Imagine lots of drums and shouting.



Filed under Créole

4 responses to “Mount Rushmore à la Réunion

  1. angelo

    love the chinese dude with a japanese flag on his face

  2. Alx

    Hey there, just wanted to correct some little things. Actually, the Malbars mostly have ancestry from people of South India not from Madagascar, you were right about the Kafs ( in “accurate” French, Cafres – and Cafrines for
    females ) but these are the ones who also have ancestry from people of Madagascar. Les Zarabs for most of them in Reunion are not really Arabs but are descendants of people from Gujarat and we call them Zarab most likely because they are Muslims… About les Zoreys, people are still arguing now and then about the actual origins and meaning of the word 😀

    I didn’t mean to be lame about facts that may not seem important, but the association of Malbars with Madagascar made me freak out just a little bit.

    By the way I’m Reunionese, as you may have guessed, and I just stumbled on your blog, which I find great, cause it’s always interesting and fun to see how foreigners approach the quirks of the island.

    • Hi Alex thanks for taking to time to comment on my post. Yes, I wrote that piece at the very beginning of my stay and quickly learned that I had misunderstood some basic facts I wrote about. I thought I had corrected it, but almost two years later, I will be sure to fix this. Again, thanks for pointing this out and I’m glad to see other people still enjoying your island through my blog, even true reunionnais like yourself!

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