SEYCHELLES’ CONSIDERING GIVING THE 30 YEAR OLD ‘FESTIVAL KREOL‘ A NEW DIRECTION
(Posted 28th October 2015)
Today does the Creole World, brought together on the Seychelles’ islands of Mahe for the annual ‘Festival Kreol‘ celebrate the International Creole Day, from across the Indian Ocean islands to the Caribbean and on to Louisiana.
It is a mix of language and culture, food, drink, art and song and more which binds the Creole people together and it was in recognition of this unique trace that the Seychelles in 1985 launched the first such festival and named Victoria the Creole Capital of the World, aka ‘Kapital Lemonn Kreol‘.
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St. Ange, spoke out ahead of the International Creole Day, looking into the future of the festival and the Creole nation.
‘It is clear, after staging 30 editions of Festival Kreol we should now look to be more innovative in our approach to pitch this festival at the next level. We acknowledge the progress made over the many years in staging this even, but we also acknowledge its setbacks and its challenges. This is why for the 31st edition, the Ministry will sit back and reflect on how to give Festival Kreol a new soul. The people of Seychelles need to see themselves in their Festival Kreol. We should be more pro-active in our approach to stage an event that the people of Seychelles become part and parcel of‘.
Minister St.Ange announced that for the forthcoming Vanilla Islands meeting he will table for discussion a proposition to see how the Creole speaking island members of Vanilla Islands (Rodrigues, Mauritius and Reunion) can continue to come together to work with Seychelles in its drive to stage a Festival Kreol that reflects the Kreol spirit within the Vanilla Islands grouping. ‘Let us be proud of our Creole identity‘.
Jimmy Savy, Director of National Arts Council, said in this year’s edition of the Kreol Festival the participation of local and international artists have been very positive. He said that this showed that the artists were more than ever conscious of using this event and exploring their artistic talents through this unique event.
Patrick Victor, the artistic Director of the 2015 Festival Kreol official opening, said the ceremony was a success
‘The rain during the official opening was a blessing. It shows our true character as a Creole nation‘.
Minister St.Ange thanked the local and International Press for covering Festival Kreol. He also thanked all the sponsors of this year’s edition and for Anonyme Island Resort for hosting the press conference and providing accommodation for the International Press. The Press conference was attended by Benjamine Rose, Principal Secretary for Culture and Anne Lafortune Principal Secretary for Tourism. Also present was Peter Sinon former Minister for Investment Natural Resources and Industry, the person responsible for coining the tourism tagline Culture through Agriculture .
On the occasion of the International Creole Day which is celebrated today, October 28th, Minister Alain St.Ange has called on the people of Seychelles to always be proud of their Creole identity and keep living their Creole values. Minister St.Ange said Seychelles must remain a society that is proud of its identity and culture. He added that it has been 30 years since the government took the decision to officially recognise our Creole culture in all its aspects. In fact the government of Seychelles had since 1980 started working on policies to give creole its rightful place and importance firstly by making it one of the island’s three national official languages and then including it in the teaching and learning process in the Seychelles education system.
Minister St.Ange added that this has made the Seychellois proud as a nation. ‘In 1985, the decision was taken for Seychelles to celebrate its Creole Day and to make this day become a week-long festival which we now call the Festival Kreol. Festival Kreol allows us to showcase our creole way of life and everything which makes our unique culture. Nowadays, many Seychellois are mandated to represent Seychelles at international level. They are able at such conferences to show to the world their pride and belief in our Creole language and culture. For us Creole is not only our language; it is our way of life, what we speak, eat, wear, sing, dance, paint and all that we are‘ theMinister then added before concluding: ‘Long live the creole way of life and let us preserve what for the future of our country‘.