Every Mauritian is brought up with the Sega dance. With its rhythmic, lively music and colourful Creole lyrics, the Sega is regarded nationally as a dance that expresses freedom and ' joie de vivre'.
Despite this ‘feel-good’ vibe, it is interesting to note that the dance actually originated from slaves brought from Africa. Dancing around the fire at the end of a hard day’s work was their way of temporarily dispelling the painful moments of their miserable existence. Today, however, Sega has been adopted as the national dance, and can be heard and seen everywhere – from hotels to shopping malls. Expect to find local spontaneous Sega parties around a bonfire in remote village areas or on one of the island’s beautiful beaches.
Traditional Sega is played with the basic instruments known as the ravanne, the maravanne and the triangle. The beat of the drums, the shuffling of feet and the swaying of hips are part and parcel of the music.
Although the dance has evolved with modern instruments and often now features contemporary musical influences, traditional Sega has its own circle of devotees and poets. The most famous of these was Ti Frère, who died at the age of 92 in 1992, and left us a fantastic legacy.
Young people now favour another form of music, where local Sega rhythms have been mixed with Reggae to form 'Seggae'.