Mr. William Faria, the Senior Sub Editor & Senior Reporter at The Gulf Today published on Saturday 5th March 2016 the following article that spells out the work by Seychelles to bring about a simple celebration of diversity that is now a very important catalyst for conflict resolution and togetherness, and an instrument for telling the history of globalisation as it impacts on tourism destinations.
aTP- Arab tourism portal- By William Faria – VICTORIA – Seychelles has continued to be a melting pot of peoples from the four corners of the earth who have each contributed their particular thread to the fabric of this vibrant society, adding to it and being, themselves, subtly transformed in return.
Seychelles no doubt honours mankind and every year, the Island brings together cultural groups from the community of Nations, under the banner ‘Carnaval des Carnavals’ – bringing representatives from the world’s best carnivals to participate in 3 days of celebrations of "National Unity".
When the Seychelles Islands were first settled, it was by a blend of varied ethnicities possessing different customs and ways of life. Throughout its history and down to this very day, against this background of multi-culturalism, diversity and the coming together of peoples, it is fitting that Seychelles should once again be the focal point of an annual celebration.
The 6th edition of the Seychelles International Carnival of Victoria to be held in April will be a focal point for representatives from the world’s most famous carnivals who will converge on the islands in an exciting international event.
The Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria remains a simple celebration of diversity and is a very important catalyst for conflict resolution and togetherness, and an instrument for telling the history of globalisation as it impacts on tourism destinations, says Minister Alain St.Ange, the island’s Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture.
Promising to be the focus of international as well as local attention, the Seychelles International Carnival of Victoria will feature a procession of colourful floats representing the various participants’ national carnivals, as well as a raft of other dedicated activities all of which will fall under the carnival’s theme.
"Nothing is more uniting, and nothing promotes social cohesion more than ‘festivals’ to which all people contribute" said Minister Alain St.Ange, following discussions with Claire Holder of the Notting Hill Carnival of the UK on their participation once again.
Minister St.Ange announced that the Celebration of "National Unity" will be the theme of Carnival 2016 in Seychelles.
This spectacular event held over three days in the heart of the Seychelles capital Victoria was baptised under the theme ‘the melting pot of cultures’.
The carnival has since 2011 received great visibility with the representatives from top media houses coming from Europe, Middle East, Americas, Asia and the Indian Ocean.
Over the past five years, the carnival has been known to be the biggest cultural manifestation in Seychelles, bringing together the best carnivals of the world to its shores such as the Brazilian group, the Notting Hill Carnival Roadshow Company of the UK , Düsseldorf carnival of Germany, the Italy Carnival, the Indonesian Carnival to name but a few. Cultural Troupes from the Community of Nations have also descended on the islands to parade alongside with delegations of the best carnivals of the world.
The carnival celebrated its fifth anniversary last year where again top international dignitaries graced the three-day event with their presence.
In discussions with the Seychelles Tourism Board prior to confirming the dates for the 2016 edition of the carnival Minister Alain St.Ange said that many nations have jumped on the tourism ‘bandwagon’ and tourism represents an integral and important element of broader economic and social development policy.
But what differentiates one nation from another is, among other things, the quality and value derived from the attractions, both natural and man-made.
The Seychelles International Carnival should therefore be designed to aim at the ‘spectacularisation’ of the culture and heritage of the Seychelles Islands because tourists often demand ‘authentic’ exhibitions of culture and lifestyles which are considerably different from their own. The Carnival should also aim to express and showcase the modernity of the Seychelles without any loss of the charm of its traditional values and history.
"Every year we spend time searching for the Soul of Seychelles through the Eyes of Carnival. We know carnivals of festivals remain a motivation of economic activity through the cultural and artistic creations and the general impact on infrastructure provisions.
We also know that during carnival time our country benefits of the visitor expenditure multiplier effect in the fields of food production, catering, hospitality, hotels, crafts and souvenir production" Minister St.Ange said adding that cultural contacts are seen to be strong drive and magnet for world peace and the perceived roles of the Seychelles in that process is set to be more appreciated as the more and more countries use the Seychelles cultural event to showcase their own culture and develop relationships with other nations from the Community of Nations.
The Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria continues to establish a close correlation between carnival attractions that bring together the arts, culture, history and heritage of Seychelles as it works in tandem with other countries who are proud of their own culture to showcase to the world media the unity through diversity and this immaterial of the colour of the skin, religious beliefs and political affiliation.
Today we know that the Seychelles Carnaval International de Victoria has carved itself a unique place in the culture of Carnival, in that our carnaval invites the world to participate.