I noticed a lot of Black Friday sales in Mauritius this year. Seriously, a LOT! I know local businesses like trendy words and automatically adopt foreign concepts in Mauritius. If you saw the Black Friday adverts like I did, I am sure you must have asked yourself the following question too, what is Black Friday?
I did some research about it and this is what I got:
Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the fourth Thursday of November, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952. – Wikipedia.org
The trend has started in Mauritius and yes, it surely marks the beginning of Christmas shopping but it does not stop here. There is a darker side to the origin of the term Black Friday that we should be aware of.
Black Friday happened on September 24, 1869 where a gold crash was caused when investors Jay Gould and Jim Fisk drove up the price of gold in an attempt to corner the gold market. Unfortunately, the price dropped from $160 an ounce to $138 followed with serious repercussion causing a crash that eventually led to the United States financial devastation for months. The stock market dropped by 20%, foreign trade stopped and farmers suffered a 50% dip in wheat and corn harvest value.
The Internet has other stories related to Black Friday but none of them have any cultural connections to people living in Mauritius. It’s just like Mauritians having fancy Halloween parties with no cultural ties.