In tiny Mauritius, jokes about races and other communities are common. All communities have a name given to them to identify their roots or origins but some people can get upset with these jibes.
Sometimes, the names are vulgar and they identify the rogue elements of a particular community.
Such name-calling and jokes have so far remained unchallenged until someone uploaded a video on Facebook.
The video in creole is about Mauritian whites flying with Air India to Mauritius.
AIR INDIA JOKES
In the video, a White man who hails from the local born ‘European’ colony of Mauritius, made some jokes about Air India.
Mimicking the pilot with a twist of tongue, Pierre Noel got himself into trouble after the private talk went viral.
Someone in the assistance at the private gathering posted the video on a social network and it was given a racial twist by others who re-shared it on Facebook.
Air India jokes are plenty. The ones told by Mr Noel are not unique but are painted with slurs and connotations that offended some Hindus in Mauritius.
A Hindu group, the Voice of Hindu, made a police report and Noel was called up by the CID.
After his testimony, he apologised to those who felt hurt or targeted by his comments.
Some people on Facebook called the jokes ‘Impertinent’ as they refer to the Hindu’s as Malbar or Malabar in English.
The Hindu group apparently felt offended by the use of the word ‘Malabar’. However, some netizens pointed out that the Hindus in Mauritius hails from the Malabar region in India.
Hence, they are called Malabar or Malbar in Creole.
LASCARS ARE NOT UPSET
Netizens on Facebook used the seventieth birthday of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to wish him, saying they are ‘Lascars’.
Lascar is a name given to Muslims by other communities. It is widely used in the daily affairs of some people who openly calls the Muslims with the generic name.
Lascars are either Muslim merchant seamen or soldiers. Usually Bengali, the lascars were men mostly recruited from Calcutta, India.
Some among the Muslims calls the Calcutta Mauritians, the Calcatia. So far this has not offended any Calcutta Muslims in Mauritius.
Muslims are not upset to be called lascars. Some people prefer to refer to the word lascar as sailors or soldiers who served the British army.
A lascar was a sailor or militiaman from the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Arab world, or other territories located to the east of the Cape of Good Hope.
They were employed on European ships from the 16th century until the middle of the 20th century, says Wikipedia.
MORE AIR INDIA JOKES
Last year, an advisory issued by the state airline Air India, urged the airline’s crew to say “Jai Hind” after every flight announcement.
It adds, they must say it “with much fervour”.
Not to anyone’s surprise, the announcement went viral on social media with many making jokes at the airline’s expense.
Others had their moments too:
This article is not published to poke fun at Air India or anyone. It is published to report the news as it happens, with a twist.