, also referred to as Chinese Mauritians
or Mauritian Chinese
, are Mauritians
of Chinese descent. They form about 3% of the local population.
Like members of other communities on the island, some of the earliest Chinese in Mauritius arrived involuntarily, having been "shanghaied
" from Sumatra
in the 1740s to work in Mauritius in a scheme hatched by the French admiral Charles Hector, comte d'Estaing
; however, they soon went on strike to protest their kidnapping. Luckily for them, their refusal to work was not met by deadly force, but merely deportation back to Sumatra. In the 1780s, thousands of voluntary migrants set sail for Port Louis from Guangzhou
on board British, French, and Danish ships; they found employment as blacksmiths, carpenters, cobblers, and tailors, and quickly formed a small Chinatown
, the camp des Chinois
, in Port Louis. Even after the British takeover of the island, migration continued unabated.
The earliest migrants were largely Cantonese
-speaking, but later, Hakka
-speakers from Meixian
, further east in Guangdong
, came to dominate numerically; as in other overseas Chinese communities, rivalry between Hakka and Cantonese became a common feature of the... Read More