Seychelles' seniors get gathering place for daytime activities, to promote cultural heritage

Arts & Culture |Author: Salifa Magnan and Betymie Bonnelame | August 7, 2016, Sunday @ 08:35| 5378 views

Lakaz Roza, built 15 years ago and made of squat stone pillars, is part of the Domaine de Val des Près -- a traditional Creole village at Au Cap on the eastern side of the Seychelles main island, Mahe. (Salifa Magnan, Seychelles News Agency)

(Seychelles News Agency) - Senior citizens of Seychelles now have a place of their own for daily activities after a donation from the Seychelles Heritage Foundation -- a place they will also be able to use to pass on their knowledge of the Seychellois culture.

The house, called ‘Lakaz Roza’ (House of Rosa), is located at Domaine de Val des Près, at Au Cap, an eastern district on the main island Mahe. It was handed over to the head of the senior citizens association, Jeanne D’Arc Gerry, last week.

Gerry says that some activities are already on the programme and will take place at ‘Lakaz Roza’ after the house is refurnished.    

“Apart from embroidery, sewing and other crafts we will be cooking and making preserves. If children and adults alike are interested in knowing how they are made, we will show them,” said Gerry.

Lakaz Roza is a replica of the servant house during the colonial days. It is hoped that the senior citizens' presence there will also help the sharing of knowledge which will in turn help preserve the Seychellois culture. (Salifa Magnan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

Gerry added that the senior citizens will not only benefit socially and economically from these activities but can also share their knowledge, and this will in return help preserve the Seychellois culture and heritage.

Miera Savy, the chief executive of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation, said the ‘Lakaz Roza’ project is part of a continuing effort to promote heritage with the participation of local communities.

Products made by senior citizens will be displayed in the living area of the house where tourists and locals visiting the Domaine de Val des Près, a traditional Creole village, will be able to buy them as well.

Lakaz Roza, built 15 years ago and made of squat stone pillars, is also part of the village and is a replica of the servant house.

Savy says, “The foundation is working on a management plan for the whole of Domaine de Val des Près, to optimise the use of the whole property. To preserve our heritage we need to keep it alive. We want to reflect the life and culture of days gone by.”

The Grann Kaz at the Domaine de Val des Près village -- depicting the traditional Creole architecture originating from the colonial days. The Seychelles Heritage Foundation is working on a management plan for the whole traditional Creole village. (Salifa Magnan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY

The Department of Community Development will ensure the daily running of the house while the foundation will do the maintaining and landscaping.

All senior citizens of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, are welcome to use Lakaz Roza, and Gerry says the association is maintaining its request for a larger centre to accommodate more members.

“We will be able to accommodate more senior citizens and do more for them,” said Gerry.

Seychelles has a population of 93,000, and 7.4 percent is 65 years or older, making it an ageing society according to the United Nations’ definition. 

Tags: Creole village, heritage, culture, cooking, crafts, sewing, Jeanne D’Arc Gerry, senior citizens association, Seychelles Heritage Foundation, Domaine de Val des Près, Lakaz Roza, senior citizens


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