FOOD. In the sea there are lots of sharks. Coral reefs prevent the sharks going into shallower water so it is safe to swim.

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1 Our Trip To... Reunion Island

2 FOOD There are many different flavours in Reunionese food due to the different cultural backgrounds of the population. People use a lot of spices in their dishes and vanilla in their desserts. Most of the dishes are accompanied with rice. It is eaten almost every day and that s why most houses have a rice cooker and why supermarkets sell huge bags of it. We learnt to cook cheese and chicken samoussas and bonbons piments which are spicy but really good. Fruits like lychee, mango, papaya, pineapple or passion fruit are very sweet and delicious. GEOGRAPHY Reunion is an island situated in the Indian Ocean. All the geography in Reunion is of volcanic origin with deep valleys and high mountains. There was a volcanic eruption on the 17th of October only a few weeks before we arrived. The inhabitants of Reunion are not scared of these eruptions though. Entre-Deux is called Entre-Deux because of its geographic location which is between two rivers. Reunion is a French overseas territory. When we asked people they said despite this they felt part of France. The vegetation is very varied. It's predominantly tropical but near the volcano it is very dry much like the mountains of Europe. Around the volcano, we saw only desert. The climate is tropical, sometimes it rains and sometimes it is sunny. In the sea there are lots of sharks. Coral reefs prevent the sharks going into shallower water so it is safe to swim. 2

3 CREOLE Creole is the language of Reunion Island and has been around for 3 centuries. It has a similar structure to French and locals tend to mix the 2 languages. Creole is a mixture of old French, the language of Madagascar, Indian languages and sailors slang. It is a very descriptive language; people say what they see. It is spoken by the majority of the island but its use is not encouraged in school and it isn t a school subject. Some useful things to know how to say are: savates dé doigts (flip-flops) Merci zot tout! (Thanks everyone!) Nou artrouve! (See you later!). HISTORY Slaves and their masters were the first settlers on the island. One of the most famous slaves was Dimitile. He helped many escape over a period of time. The slaves who had escaped built Camp Marron up in the mountain. There they could hide in a kind of fort and they had to use ropes to get into it. They also used stones as weapons to defend themselves from slave hunters. If slaves got caught, hunters would cut off their hands as proof to get paid and let them die. 3

4 HOME LIFE Villages in Reunion Island like Entre-Deux are big but people there describe them as small. People eat a lot of home cooked meals. They eat rice and vegetables almost every day for lunch and dinner. They very often have their meals outside and sometimes they also keep their cooker outside. Very few houses have an upstairs and if they do members of their extended family might use it. People don t seem to have many pets, maybe because most of the houses are near a main road. A lot of people usually spend time at the beach on Sundays with their friends and families. They tend to get up early in the morning: 6 am on a school day! THE CHOCA PLANT The heart of the choca plant can also be eaten. It is shredded échards de choca and used as an ingredient in various traditional dishes. It can also be used as a filling in sandwiches. Entre-Deux holds a festival in July each year celebrating the choca. There is singing and dancing and concerts. This festival is called La Fête Choca. The choca plant is very common in Reunion Island. It is everywhere often preventing other plants from growing, a bit like a weed. It was introduced to Reunion Island in the 18th century for its fibres to make ropes. The fibres are stripped from the leaves using a blade. Still today people make baskets, hats, backpacks, slippers out of choca. Most of these crafts are very expensive as they are all handmade. 4

5 SPORT They practise different sports in Reunion Island, surfing, mountain running, football, rugby, handball, basketball and many others. At school they do handball, badminton, wrestling, basketball and swimming. In the village some people, mostly adults, like to play pétanque although some children play too. You throw metal balls, trying to get them as close to the small ball as possible. There are 3 in a team and the game is played to 13. They do gliding and paragliding too. The most popular sports in Reunion Island are football, rugby, and tennis. In the sea there are various sports such as paddle, surfing, fishing and diving. Sea sports are dangerous because of shark attacks; this is making them less popular. There are a few people from Reunion Island in the Olympics usually for sports like martial arts and surfing. WILDLIFE On Reunion Island we found lots of birds such as the cardinal, the bélier, the purple martin, the parakeet and the paille en queue. The birds of Reunion Island are very colourful. Some of the animals include lizards, tenrec (related to hedgehogs), and chameleons. We found lots of fish in the river such as the guppy and the cabot. We also saw some of the fish from the sea like the anguille marbrée, the pufferfish but also turtles. Reunion Island has lots of exotic plants some of which are night jasmine, vanilla, bougainvillea and the thunbergia. 5

6 RELIGION Christianity: There are over Christians in Reunion Island. They have a lot of churches. Alvaro went to see Notre Dame des Neiges in Cilaos and said it was a lot more colourful and bigger than churches in Andalusia in Spain. Islam: There are between 80 and 90 thousand Muslims and 8 mosques in Reunion Island. Alfie went in a mosque in St Pierre. It was very different to a Christian church in the way it is very open. In the hall there were sinks to wash in. You also had to take your shoes off before you came in and walked on the green carpeted floors. There were no benches, just one big room to pray. Hinduism: Alvaro went to see two Hindu temples and thought they looked a lot older than they were. Taoism: In St Pierre we also found a Chinese temple but unfortunately it was closed. MUSIC European music is very important in Reunion Island. The young people we asked said they listen to roughly the same amount of French and English music. One traditional band is called Ousanousava. This band uses a range of instruments including guitar, woodwind, accordion and also traditional instruments such as the kayamb and has a traditional sound. When we went to cook at Lili s house she had a kayamb and Luis enjoyed trying it out. We listened to a band at Gadjac Café Entre Deux Sons who played a mixture of traditional music and their own compositions. It was great! 6

7 PUPILS Alvaro & Alfie Ines & Charlotte Ana Maria & Christina Noelia & Freya Nuria & Kirsty Lizzie & Laura Diego & Lydia Enrique & Margo Reece & Juan Reuben & Luis 7

8 PARTNERS Collége Le Dimitile L Entre-Deux L île De La Réunion FRANCE Mid Yell Junior High School YELL Shetland SCOTLAND Instituto de Educacion Secondaria El Yelmo Corijos Nevos Jaén ESPANA 8

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