Diversity: Meeting on Creole values, cultures and identity takes place in Seychelles

Arts & Culture |Author: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | March 7, 2024, Thursday @ 10:25| 8141 views

Participants in the meeting are people who are actively passionate about Creole cultures. (Seychelles News Agency)

(Seychelles News Agency) - Creole values, ancestral knowledge and the Creole identity in a globalised world and giving it its rightful value, are part of the discussion of a four-day meeting taking place in Seychelles.

The second edition of the "Rencontres Creoles des Seychelles" [Seychelles' Creole Meetings] started on Tuesday and will end on Friday with the participation of creators, decision-makers, artists, poets, literary figures, academics and gastronomy experts among others.

Participants are people who are actively passionate about Creole cultures and keen to pass them on and share them at the meeting taking place at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles aimed at giving the culture its rightful value.

The representatives are from various Creole-speaking countries including Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues and Madagascar.

In his address at the launch of the event, the secretary general of the Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts (SNICHA), David Andre said, "This meeting in the capital of Creole cities, Victoria, in Seychelles, is a decisive moment in the efforts to give Creole its rightful place in the world and to promote its values. It is a great day for the Creole nations of the world."

Andre described the event as the fusion of various cultures, interweaving of histories and a celebration of diversity. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY

Andre said that the "Creole phenomenon is one that is alive and breathing in the face of the historical challenges it was faced with" and encouraged participants to have an open mind, that would embrace the diversity of the Creole culture.

He described the event as the fusion of various cultures, interweaving of histories and a celebration of diversity that is emblematic to the Creole world.

Andre said that such a meeting also teaches those attending that "diversity is not a source of division, but one of strength as despite our differences we share a humanity that transcends borders and history."

In addition to the Creole enthusiasts discussing the various challenges, strengths and practices of the Creole world, a group of artists from the countries attending are creating a musical piece - to be revealed in a performance due to be held when the conference closes.

Andre said the meeting was not just an appreciation of the Creole culture, but also a battle cry for the Creole nations to deal with the challenges they face, creating a sense of unity that transcends the geographical distance that divides people too often.

Although Cape Verde was not present at the event this year, the meetings are being organised in the context of the possible inclusion of Creole cultures on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This is an initiative of the President of Cape Verde, José Maria Neves.

Neves presented it at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2022. The civil society-led initiative wants Creole countries to be able to position themselves, under one voice, regarding their intangible heritage, promoting peace, friendship between peoples, and development cooperation, based on the values that Creolisation has brought to civilisation.

The meeting in Seychelles is being organised in coordination with the World Summit of Creole Countries, Nations and Regions due to take place in September in Cape Verde. 

Tags: Rencontres Creoles des Seychelles, UNESCO


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