‘Communalisme’ and ‘Créole’ – Misnomers? Where are the Creole Pundits and Imams?

Discussion dans 'Actualités de l'Ile Maurice' créé par Rafic Soormally, 1 Jan 2014.

  1. 'Communalisme’ and ‘Créole’ – Misnomers? Where are the Creole Pundits and Imams?​


    While wishing all Mauritians a very Happy and Prosperous New Year 2014, it is hoped that they will raise their level of consciousness and discernment and divest themselves of all potentially racist and discriminatory ideologies aimed at mainly Indian cultures and languages in order to preserve their diverse identities. Creole associations, such as Fédération des Créoles Mauriciens (FCM) led by Catholic Priest Jocelyn Grégoire, and other such associations and convention exclude Creoles (descendants of slaves) who are Hindus and Muslims and there are no Creole Pundits and Imams on the panels of those associations either. Such associations should be declared discriminatory and unlawful. Politicians should stop attending and addressing those movements unless they include Creole Hindus and Muslims and their respective Pundits and Imams. Let this be their New Year’s resolution in order to unite the people.

    [​IMG]
    Dr Bilal Philips - A Jamaican Creole Muslim Teacher and Author

    [​IMG]
    Jayanti Bahadoersing – A Surinamese Creole Hindu Singer

    Slaves themselves always looked down on the language of slaves (creole) imposed by European racists, a language which they tended to use to insult their domineering masters, hence the intrinsic vulgarity of the language. Slavery was abolished in 1835. Through interaction with Indentured Labourers and other Indians from the Sub-Continent, the spoken language of slaves evolved, and Mauritians spoke in Mauritian Patois, and still do. This patois is spoken differently in different regions and different communities. In Curepipe, my hometown, people’s patois was much closer to French. Letters written phonetically in patois contained many words and terms from the Sub-Continent, and tended to follow French grammar closely with accords for feminine, plural, verbs, and so on. ‘L’éducation’ was never ‘ledikasyon’, ‘le peuple’ was never ‘lepep’, ‘en deuil’ was never ‘an dey’ (which means blind in Bhojpuri). Creole was considered a racist European term for which children were punished if they uttered the word. Creole is a patois, but a patois is not necessarily a creole since creole has a specific slave connotation, except when it refers to the White European born in slave colonies. In the 1960’s, around 60% of Mauritians spoke Bhojpuri. Before independence, descendants of slaves in Mauritus made up around 25% of the population, half of which were Muslims mainly of Swahili origin.

    The MMM in the late 1960’s – the turning point
    With the advent of the MMM in the late 1960’s, Dev Virahsawmy and his MMM cohorts introduced the Haitian creole model on Mauritians for political reasons. They distorted Mauritian Patois to extreme and imposed it from above. With the support of popular newspapers like l’Express and le Mauricien, they made out that ‘creole’ was a ‘modern’ language, and that Bhojpuri was a ‘langage bitation’ (village language). L’Express even made out that Bhojpuri was a ‘langage vier bonnefamme (hindou)’ (language of old Hindu ladies). Indo-Mauritians, especially the young, started to abandon their ancestral languages, such as Hindi and Bhojpuri, and adopted a vulgar form of patois, called ‘creole’. African-Mauritians previously abandoned their ancestral languages, such as Swahili and Zulu, but they spoke a broken French as they aspired to imitate the French language. However, with the MMM politics, the Mauritian Patois has somewhat been made to ‘evolve’ backwards to creole. At the same time, the African-Mauritians who mainly followed the late Sir Gaëtan Duval of the PMSD, also nicknamed « le Roi Créole », changed camp to follow the Franco-Mauritian leader of the MMM, Paul Bérenger. With the help of a pro-MMM media, backed by the Catholic Church, since most African-Mauritians are Catholics, they invented a script (based on the Haitian model) called ‘Grafi Larmoni’, which allegedly ‘harmonised’ the different versions of patois spoken by Mauritians and which is spelt in a most distorted and unreadable manner. What they also did was remove all Hindi, Bhojpuri, Urdu, Swahili words and terms and called it ‘kreol’ or ‘Morisyn’. It is clearly a discriminatory and racist language which especially Indo-Mauritians should reject.

    Discriminating Creole Associations
    Creole associations, such as Fédération des Créoles Mauriciens (FCM) led by Catholic Priest Jocelyn Grégoire, and other such associations and convention exclude descendants of slaves (Creoles) who are Hindus and Muslims and there are no Creole Pundits and Imams on the panels of those associations either. Such associations should be declared discriminatory and unlawful. Politicians should stop attending and addressing those movements unless they include Creole Hindus and Muslims and their respective Pundits and Imams. Let this be their New Year’s resolution in order to unite the people.

    In « Créole, une mystification », Robert Fournier said « il m'apparaît que revient au petit monde de la sociolinguistique historique le soin d'amorcer le rétablissement des faits, afin d'éviter de perpétuer une idéologie à fondement raciste dépassée qui a pris l'allure ce dernier demi-siècle d'une véritable mystification scientifique. »

    ‘Communalisme’ and ‘Créole’
    There are no anthropological, sociological, linguistic, phonetic and phonological studies based on representative samples to demonstrate how Mauritians spoke and phonetically wrote in Mauritian Patois in different regions and communities. Hence, the so-called creole imposed in Mauritian education (even as an option) in January 2012, which is causing children to perform badly both in English and French since they are taught distorted spelling without grammatical rules and exceptions to those rules, did not emanate from the people but invented by the likes of Dev Virahsawmy and imposed from above. It is a political creole, and a misnomer.

    There are other misnomers commonly used in Mauritius. For example, the term ‘communalisme’ (distorted to ‘komynalis’) is used in common parlance instead of “communautarisme” (which Dev would probably spell as ‘komynotaris’).

    Most Mauritians have adopted the term ‘communalisme’ in the belief that it means ‘communautarisme’, but this is not so. Hence, they have to be corrected so they can learn correctly, irrespective of what Grand Robert or Petit Larousse might say, because those dictionaries tend to change meanings of words, even invent stupid words, for political reasons, just like they invented ‘islamisme’ (a term which does not exist in Islam) and changed the meaning of ‘fondamentalisme’ to associate it with Islam when it is a Christian term describing the Protestants. Also, French dictionaries now associate the term ‘intégrisme’ (a term which refers to Catholic fanaticism, particularly in France) to Islam. In the same way, they have changed the meaning of the term laïcité (a term borrowed from the Catholic Church) on several occasions to target Muslims in France, with Sikhs paying the price too.

    Similarly, most Mauritians (including Indo-Mauritians who make up around 68% of the population) have adopted the slave term ‘creole’ to describe the evolved patois they speak. But when asked how they know they speak ‘creole’ they say this is what everyone else (including the media) is saying. They are unable to explain how the language they speak is ‘creole’ and where they learnt it from. Hence, the term creole to describe the Mauritian Patois is also a misnomer.

    Conclusion
    My parents knew Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Lady Ramgoolam and they always spoke in Bhojpuri. The ancestors of the 68% Indian-Mauritians were not slaves. How on earth do they speak creole? « Mo Dadi bimar », « Mo Mamou fine intekal », « Enan pooja lacaze tantôt », « Donne moi sa kalchul la beta », « Mo pas codjé kiryol » are not creole terms. What sort of study did the Mauritian government do and relied upon? It all has to do with politics as Mauritian children are not taught their history properly and made to pay a heavy price as their identities are distorted. Indian-Mauritians should be proud of their ancestry and cultures and reject all forms of discrimination and racism. « Mein kiryol nahin bolta », as my Nani used to say, should become « Hum kiryol nahin bolta » for all Indo-Mauritians!

    Being Mauritian means a person who has the right to a Mauritian passport, but Mauritians are not related to the Dutch coloniser Maurice de Nassau, after whom the country was named. Mauritians should equally not be duped by the term ‘mauricianisme’, term which has become synonymous with ‘créolisme’. What would happen if Mauritius is renamed CHOTA BHARAT? Remember, yesterday’s Rhodesians are today’s Zimbabweans. In the same vein, what has happened to ‘Jamaicanism’ and ‘Surinamism’? ‘Mauricianisme’ is just another misnomer, a diet which Mauritians is being force-fed with by the media and politicians alike, just like in the days of ‘créolisme’.

    Narendranuth Datta (1863-1902), disciple of the Hindu spiritual leader Ramakrishna, took the name « Vivekananda », which is Sanskrit for « bliss of discerning knowledge ». While rejecting any form of racist and/or discriminatory ideology, may the New Year 2014 bestow such discernment on all Mauritians since having the Mauritian national identity does not mean doing away with our African or Indian or Chinese or French cultures and languages as those form an integral part of our identity in a multi-cultural society.

    M Rafic Soormally
    London
    1st January 2014
     
  2. boispignolet

    boispignolet Membre

    Vous rabâchez Rafic !
    En bas de mon post il y a un petit bouquin dans lequel vous trouverez de quoi occuper vos journées !
     
  3. I have decided to remove this post

    I have decided to remove this post
     
  4. boispignolet

    boispignolet Membre

    2014 est déjà là !
    Tous mes vœux de bonheur, de réussite, d'amour et d'excellente santé
    pour vous et l'ensemble de votre famille
     
  5. Wishing you & your family a Happy & Prosperous New Year 2014

    Mr Boispignolet

    Wishing you and your family too a Happy and Prosperous New year 2014 and, above all, good health.

    Best regards

    Mr M R Soormally
     

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