There is a quote in our Mauritian Creole dialect which says, “To kouma dire pomme d’amour. To rentre dan tou la sauce, toi!” In English, it means “You are like a tomato, you mingle easily within every sauce!”. In other words, it describes someone who has a very curious and indiscreet temperament and who enjoys being nosy. This is what I am.
But before telling more about what hides behind that personality trait of mine, here is an overview about one of our local Mauritian vegetables, which is widely appreciated by all Mauritians: the “Pomme d’Amour” (literary translated as “Love Apple”). And this type of vegetable has nothing to do with the “Pomme d’amour” known in USA as the “Candy Apple” or “Toffee Apple”, which is described by Wikipedia as, I quote, “whole apples covered in a hard toffee or sugar candycoating, with a stick inserted as a handle. These are a common treat at autumn festivals in Western culture in the Northern Hemisphere, such as Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night because these festivals fall in the wake of the annual apple harvest“.
As per some researches I did from a compatriot Facebook profile, the “pomme d’amour” I am talking about is a vegetable imported from South America on the 18th Century by some Colons in a shape of an either long or short, big or small tomato, but having in common an oval shape, and which is widely retrieved in every market places of the country. The “Pomme d’amour” has a great place within Mauritian gastronomy, which is known for its diversified ethnic cuisine coming from Africa, Europe, Asia and India. The “Pomme d’amour” mixes easily in most of the Mauritian sauces, however they may be sweet, spicy or salty. Among our local specialties, we have the “chutney pomme d’amour” (tomato chutney), the “rougaille” (tomato sauce, which can sometimes be very spicy), some spicy curry sauces accompanying vegetables, chicken, beef, lamb, fish, etc. It also matches very well with some Chinese dishes such as the sweet and sour sauce, the red sauce, or even the famous fish or crab broth. Such dishes with that wonderful ingredients are not only appreciated in hotels, restaurants and host tables, they are also appreciated in every Mauritian home as well.
But to come back with the quote regarding the “pomme d’amour”, if you don’t know how to be nosy properly, you can get into big and useless troubles for nothing. But in my case, this is not my intention. We may say that curiosity is a bad things. Yes, it’s a bad thing when you don’t use it properly. Curiosity then, should be taught as an art and not as a bad thing.
For my part, that is what I am trying to do in my daily life. I think that I have been born to be a “pomme d’amour”. Since childhood, I was raised in a multicultural family between my Hindu patriarchy and my mixed matriarchy. Most of my matriarchy is Creole, but there have been some mixtures with other cultures such as Chinese, Muslims, Indians, Europeans and even Arabian, precisely Algerian. Things apply the same for me regarding my religious beliefs, from Roman Catholic to Anglican, from Anglican to Atheist, from Atheist to Christ Church, and finally from Christ Church to Hinduism. I already explained in a blog post my incredible but true spiritual journey, especially since I turned Hindu as it was my father’s native religion which he rejected since he turned Anglican after a short stay in Kerala as per his own words, when I wrote “How I took back the religion my father rejected“. By the same way, I have had the opportunity to study in a French school, though Mauritius is an Anglo-Saxon, which allowed me to be surrounded not only with compatriots, but also with some French expatriates among my teachers, schoolmates, classmates and administrative staffs.
My multicultural journey continued as well through my trips. Here is an overview about the countries and towns I have had the opportunity to visit: France (Paris, Strasbourg, Lourdes, Blois, Mont-Pres-Chambord, Mont St Michel, Treport, Tours, Lyon, Pont d’Espagne), United Kingdom (London St Pancras), India (Mumbai), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, Madagascar (Antananarivo, Toamasina, Majunga, Ampefy, Antsirabe, Andasibe, Mantasoa, Foulpointe), Reunion Island (St Pierre), United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai), South Africa (Cape Town, Johannesburg), Germany (Klein), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Belgium (Brussels), Seychelles (Mahe, Praslin, La Digue) and Canada (Montreal). All the credits mostly go to my husband with his work at Air Seychelles, which allowed me to visit most of those destinations and to discover several parts of the world I ignored. However, though I travelled those countries, I keep on travelling also through the books and articles that I read and through the posts that I write, since I am curious and since I love doing a lot of researches which I share with all my readers as well as with my surroundings.
But most of all, I have had the opportunity and privilege to acknowledge also a lot of friends coming from several parts of the world, and thanks to whom I had the occasion to discover more about their country, culture, history, and even the different events happening in their country. Most of my friends come from USA, but some also come from other parts of the world like India, Pakistan, Seychelles, Madagascar, UAE, UK, France, Canada, and a few from Mauritius too. I may sound sarcastic, but when it comes on befriending my compatriots, I am more selective than when I choose my foreign friends, since I have been a victim of a lot of abuse coming from family, strangers, mauritian society in general, school and university. I am very sad that even though I come from a multicultural island, Mauritian people aren’t enough open to the world and unfortunately gave birth to those social viruses which destroy the lovely image of our country: Racism, Communautarism, Religious Conflicts, Corruption, Insane Politics, etc. I project to share some blog posts , in which I shall at the same time define the real beauty, but also the medal reverse of what people still don’t see or don’t want to see about the truth behind our Mauritian society and culture. I hope through those blog posts that I will help Mauritians changing their way of thinking and being more open to the world to bring better changes in our society. By the same way, I will encourage Mauritians, through those posts, to show the true beauty and richness the country has to offer to the world as well.
So on this note, enjoy!