“There will be no consolidation of our tourism industry if we do not have culture,” said the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism & Culture at the opening ceremony of the islands 27th edition of their annual Festival Kreol.
The importance of culture for the Seychelles was highlighted for all to see when Mr. James Michel, the President of the island republic, made time to personally attend the Festival Kreol official opening ceremony at the International Conference Center in Victoria. The event was also attended by Vice President Danny Faure; the Seychelles Designated Minister, Mr. Vincent Meriton; a large number of the island’s Cabinet of Ministers; Justice Francis MacGregor, the President of the Seychelles Court of Appeal; the Chief Justice, the Hon. Marie-Antoinette Rose; the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly; and the Hon. David Pierre, the Leader of the Opposition; members of the National Assembly; the Secretary of State for Cabinet Affairs; Principle Secretaries; Bishop Denis of the Roman Catholic Church; and Bishop Wong of the Anglican Church; diplomats; and other local dignitaries.
In attendance also were the official representatives from the Republic of Sri Lanka, La Reunion, the Mauritius island of Rodrigues, and of Mauritius itself.
Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism&Culture, said that this was the first year that the new Ministry of Tourism and Culture was responsible for the organization of the festival. “The marriage between tourism and culture was the result of the vision set out by President James Michel. There will be no tourism without culture, and we cannot have culture if our people are not implicated. This was the brief handed down by the President of the republic when he created the new Ministry amalgamating tourism and culture,” Minister St.Ange said.
Seychelles is a country blessed with diversity and that included diversity of its people. “It is this diversity that has enabled us to have such a rich and diverse culture. We are the melting pot of cultures, and we need to showcase it today, tomorrow, and for generations to come. We need to be proud of our people and the diverse culture that has come down from past generations,” the Minister for Tourism and Culture said to the visiting press after the official opening ceremony.
Seychelles has been showcasing its Creole culture through an annual Festival Kreol for the last 27 years. All the islanders in Seychelles regard themselves as proud Creoles, and this has enabled them to declare Victoria, the island’s capital, as the Creole Capital of the World.
“We believe that the time is right to rally the people who believe in their Creole origin and culture to come together. This invitation is also for every island, for every nation, and for every country who speaks Creole. Let us give ourselves a rendezvous for the 2013 edition of the Festival Kreol in Seychelles and let us together bring the Creole Culture to new heights. We have accepted that for the next Festival Kreol, every delegation coming to the festival will fly their flag and be part of the show that will mark the official opening ceremony,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.