Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and southeast of the Seychelles. This archipelago was formed in a series of undersea volcanic eruptions 8-10 million years ago.
The nation is very multicultural, as its population is made of several ethnicities, including those of Indian, African, Chinese and European descent. English is the official language, but French is the dominant language used in mass media. The most commonly spoken language is Mauritian Creole, which incorporates English, Dutch, and Portuguese. Other languages include Hindi, Mandarin, Tamil, and Hakka.