Social & Cultural Tours in Mauritius: My Moris
My Moris is the delicate blend of Maya’s and Shakti’s passions built together. A cultural immersion into the Mauritian daily life where curious eyes are taken for a historical walk or a bicycle ride.
Maya is anthropologist, brought to Mauritius out of love for her better half and the stories of Mauritius cruel past. Her sincere eyes and noble acts opened her the doors to other Mauritian homes, where she also fell in love with social rituals, Sega music and their eclectic tones.
Shakti, a mix of French grace and Indian folklore, represents our biggest Mauritian pride, the Mauritian métisse. She grew up surrounded by art, and her appreciation for it brought her to venerate the cultures and people behind. She’s dedicated her life to social projects in India and her motherland.
What led you to create My Moris?
Mauritius is amazingly rich in culture and, unfortunately, our intangible heritage is often less perceived or accessible to new-comers. The spiritual beliefs and traditional practices are not easy to be witnessed by an outsider, yet very interesting for world-travelers curious about cultures and their peculiarities.
Our knowledge and experience in the field has made us aware of a very good part of it, and we believe that appreciation is key for conservation. Bringing people to admire Mauritius cultural heritage keeps it alive, its people proud, and us, a step forward to achieving our utmost goal: Demonstrate that there is a commercial sense to preserve the cultural, tangible and intangible heritage of Mauritius. Perhaps, we’ll be able to influence other associations and, in the long run, the legislation for conservation of our national heritage.
How does your business support:
The Mauritian society
My Moris was created with a sole social purpose from our love for Mauritius people and history. The economical aspect of it played a secondary role in the bet where testing our passion was priority, and that passion was to create human encounters meaningful for both parts, observers and local participants.
Our tours and experiences rotate around meet ups with the people and traditions of Mauritius. The tinsmith, fishermen bringing the catch of the day, an unwinding tea in a Mauritian home and immersions into Sega music, to name a few. They are a delicate introduction between rooted locals and foreigners to their world, where each gives something unique to the other: knowledge, humility, admiration, sheer happiness.
The local economy
My Moris tours are shaped to support local people and their small, traditional businesses. Most of our experiences happen spontaneously (without previous notice or rehearsal) meaning that participants are not hired to do a job, apart from what they naturally do. However, we take pride from introducing travelers and locals to authentic Mauritian businesses that [most likely] they wouldn’t have found on their own, and binding potential customers to the people who need it most.
There are other occasions where we create opportunities for people with scarce resources. In these cases, we invite them to be part of our itineraries in exchange of a remuneration, like some amazing women, who invite our visitors for Mauritian tea at their place in the villages. In any case, we make sure that our work leaks financially to the local community, supporting talents like Daniella Bastien, poet and ravanne player; sharing the love for Mauritian gastronomy, as in La Demeure de Saint Antoine and our accomplice street food vendors; or through the printing of our business cards and little souvenirs in the old City Press, one of the stops in our Port Louis tour.
Last but not least, it’s worth saying that all of our tours are offered by foot and/or bicycle, lowering CO2 emissions derived from our cultural activities.
What would you recommend to travelers to be more conscious about?
Travelers coming to Mauritius came a long way to stay on the beach and relax, and we totally understand that! But there is so much to see beyond the hotels’ walls… We think travelers should be aware of that and keep that in mind when planning their trip. Going out of their hotel and stepping out of their comfort zone would open a whole new world for them.
Market studies have shown a growing demand for Social Tourism around the world. Have you sensed any positive outcomes for My Moris’ brand perception?
The best outcome is finding a profitable demand for social and cultural tourism in Mauritius. As pioneers in our island, we created My Moris with a 50/50 chance, and 2 years in the market have proved us right!
We have also been contacted for different kinds of tailor-made itineraries with a slow-travel approach, meaning that travelers identify us as a more authentic, in-depth and responsible way of travel.
What is the most common feedback you get from travelers after taking one of your tours?
Rewarding enough, travelers appreciate being taken out of their comfort zone to places they wouldn’t dare entering on their own and food they didn’t imagine trying before. Somewhere between the meet-ups with fascinating people and the old, revealed facts, lets them understand more from our eclectic Mauritian culture and history, a different face from that one of white sandy beaches and luxury hotels.
But don’t take it from us, better read it from our beloved visitors in our TripAdvisor page!
And from the local community? How do they feel about these encounters?
Our relationships with the local community undergo a long and beautiful transformation process. On top of our priorities is to respect their time, work and space, and to build the trust that keeps them opening the door to their homes to us.
Often underestimated, they feel valued by the recognition that travelers give to their work and life. It is touching to see people opening up like flowers when visitors are in awe of their everyday routine. This is probably our best strategy to preserve old traditions: honoring them.
But don’t take it from us, better live it yourself in one of our tours and experiences!