Tourists are often lured to our island by the famous tagline “Welcome to Paradise Land”. The last two words are indeed loaded and doing justice to them is challenging.  They give rise to one unsettling question: is ours a society which promotes national pride or simply one making use of loaded terms which echo no authenticity?
National pride certainly does not limit itself to raising the flag on the 12th of March, with all students dressed in their neat and crisp uniform singing the national anthem! It would not be misleading to claim that Independence Day is the only time where there is an overt display of collective identity for young children. In a world where there is cut throat competition, the ruling mantra for many of our youngsters is that of individualism and there is hardly any time left for collectivity.  However, they cannot be condemned for this sad reality.  The absence of national pride might be explained through the lack of motivation in celebrating our culture.  It must be pointed out that “promoting” and “celebrating” cannot be used interchangeably when speaking about culture.  We certainly promote Mauritian culture (for the tourists’ delight) where the “Sega” is reckoned as a national emblem, but it is very unlikely for each and every Mauritian to celebrate this fact.  Ours is unfortunately a culture which is not celebrated enough.  Food can be taken as another example; there is always a dish which becomes a nation’s signature mark. Is there a clearcut agreement on what could be considered as our national dish?  Very often, homesickness is what generates national pride and young Mauritians studying overseas are seen celebrating Independence Day zestfully. Should homesickness be the trigger though? The day where we demonstrate the same zesty attitude in the homeland, we would all have made a step closer to national pride.
Youngsters tend to focus too much on their individuality and in so doing the wider picture becomes blurry.  Sometimes, so blurry that many incidents and crude realities hitting the nation are filtered:  a road accident is grieved but easily brushed aside as one is too busy with one’s own life.  It is only when it strikes family members that one sits and grieves about it for days, months or even a lifetime. It is about time for our society to help the Mauritian youth to realise that this “us” and “them” demarcation is what has unfortunately corrupted the world and our island is not being spared.  It is that parasite which feeds on unity and hinders the arousal of compassion which is essential for us to think twice before acting.  
Waving the Mauritian flag during International competitions is not what reflects collectivity and national pride. The youth can without any doubt change this visual which is filled with superficiality. National pride and collectivity begin with a smile on the face when seeing a neighbour, they can be reinforced through a helpful gesture for a stranger and they can rule our little island through a “we” and “us” call.