When I was born in Mauritius and took my first breath of air, I was simply glad to be alive. I did not choose to be born here but there I was, on this land, by pure chance. My birth-land which welcomed me with open arms! When I went to pre-primary school, I learned to sing the National Anthem and always remember, till now, the especially high-pitched part ‘As One People, As One Nation.’ When I was in primary school, I learnt about the rich history of my country and my heart beat with pride, that we had come such a long way. When I made the transition to university, I believed that the young fresh minds would merge and create a better future for our little island. When I moved abroad, I was so proud of my Mauritian roots and culture and each Mauritian party was awaited with eager anticipation.
When I returned to Mauritius, the land of my birth, I was shocked into a brutal truth that I could not simply be Mauritian…No, this right is denied to me…And so many angry questions have started cropping up in my uncomprehending head:
Why do others try to categorise me as X-speaking, when my mother tongue is the Mauritian Kreol and not X?
Why do I have to justify my ethnic roots on some official records although I was born in Mauritius and my true ethnicity is Mauritian?
Is ‘One People, One Nation’ nothing but a childhood myth, the echoing remnant of my school years?
Why don’t people understand that I am happy just being Mauritian?
O Motherland of Mine! What has become of you? Are some people to whom you gave birth so ashamed of you as to deny that they are first and foremost Mauritians?