'An extravaganza of cultural variety from the four corners of the world' - Seychelles carnival is underway

Arts & Culture |Author: Sharon Uranie | April 23, 2016, Saturday @ 13:24| 3900 views

Carnival participants dancing together on Friday evening at the official opening of the 6th Carnaval International de Victoria which ended with a firework display. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)

(Seychelles News Agency) - The party has begun! Rhythmic music started to fill the air in the Seychelles capital, Victoria, Saturday morning.

Elsewhere 23 international and 22 local groups are putting a final touch to their costumes and choreography for Saturday afternoon’s carnival parade.

The sixth edition of the Seychelles Carnaval international de Victoria kicked off Friday evening, in a spectacle of cultural manifestation, ending with a colourful display of fireworks.

Samba dancers from Brazil, South Korean dancers, Seychellois artists, groups from Mauritius, Cuba, Sweden and others joined together to give a taste of their carnival performance.

This was in the presence of guests including the Seychelles President James Michel and a large crowd of Seychellois people and visitors to the island nation’s shores.

Seychelles' carnival fans and visitors including carnival participants and press coming to the 115-island archipelago from abroad were treated to an 'avant gout' performance on Friday evening. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Describing the atmosphere as a time of celebration, the Seychelles Tourism Board CEO, Sherin Naiken said the carnival is about creating unity through diversity.

“We want the Seychelles carnival to be seen as a symbol of the coming together of people of different colours faith and political ideals, rallying under one banner, that of harmony understanding and faith in a common future,” said Naiken on Friday

“We have much to look forward to in the days and nights ahead when we are again treated to an extravaganza of cultural variety from the four corners of the world,” she added.

Saturday, the main carnival day, will see 45 floats parade the streets of Victoria while curious onlookers grab photo opportunities with them. The carnival parade is set to begin at 3pm.

An event first launched six years ago, the Seychelles carnival, Tourism Minister Alain St.Ange said, has become successful firstly because of the participation of the Seychellois people.

“We hope the delegations here today can appreciate our culture just as we are transfixed again and again year after year by yours,” said St Ange.

On top of learning from each other’s cultures St Ange believes being part of the Seychelles carnival has one other added benefit to each participating nation.

“Through this carnival in Seychelles you can get more visibility for your country than any trade fairs we all religiously attend and at which we fight each other to get an interview with the press,” St Ange said on Friday.

Seychelles Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St Ange (second from right) while launching the carnival. Also present is the tourism board CEO, Sherin Naiken (first left) and representatives of South Africa and Reunion island that are co-hosting the event this year. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Over a hundred press organisations are in Seychelles to cover what has often been dubbed the carnival of carnivals.

The carnival parade on Saturday will be followed by an after carnival party all through the evening until the early hours of Sunday.

The last leg of the carnival will be a family fun day on Sunday where the main attraction will be a kiddie carnival and prize giving ceremony. 

A collection of photos taken at the official opening of the sixth edition of the Carnaval International de Victoria. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Tags: Carnaval International de Victoria, culture, unity, tourism, Alain St Ange, Sherin Naiken, President James Michel


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