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Seychelles Minister responsible for Culture calls for Seychelles to renew its ties with Africa

Seychelles Minister responsible for Culture calls for Seychelles to renew its ties with Africa (Forimmediaterelease.net) Seychelles has proudly expressed its African origins through its annual “FetAfrik” a multi-artistic cultural manifestation depicting its African ties with the African mainland.

The Seychellois nation, the melting pot of cultures with rainbow colors, has lengthily paid tribute to Africa - the land of its ancestors, which has forever made this nation proud to be called African.

At the Seychelles national cultural center, at the heart of Victoria, the sounds and rhythms of Africa have plunged the crowds deeper in their ancestors' roots. The voices of African poet, Jean Danoel Jolicoeur, and Stelio Pierre Louis, coming all the way from Seychelles' sister island, Rodrigues, provides intricate harmony and sets the rhythmic pace with their slamming poses and verses with frequent heavy rhythms of the drums showcasing their African culture, their people, and their livelihood. The Seychellois children in their African traditional Afro-centric ethnic clothes set the rhythmic pace of the African dance through the heartbeat of the powerful drum rhythm of Seychellois' well known African advocater, Archille Luc.

In his opening remarks of “FetAfrik,” the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism&Culture, Alain St.Ange, coined on Seychelles ties with Africa, saying: “Crucial to state is that Africa Day is indeed momentous since it represents every instance in history whereby an African nation has made its stand against subordination and any other form of inequality impeding its progression and wellbeing as a people. Thus, today, through our displays and festivities, we will reminisce about Africa's past struggles and heroic legends and honor our forefathers, the likes of Pompee and Castor, whose deeds in the era of slavery have since then been immortalized by the Seychellois people.”

Minister St.Ange has also coined on Seychelles' mixed culture, saying it is imperative to understand Seychelles’ origin. He said: “On this day in history comes the need to reflect and question not only on where we come from but also on how we wish to progress and move forth as a country whose population is of mixed origin but which is geographically and politically an African state. We shall also mark our British heritage as we celebrate on June 4 the Queen’s Jubilee with as much grace as we marked la francophonie only weeks ago. And as from next year, we shall also celebrate the fifth element of our origin, that makes us the Seychellois nation and that is, our Indian origin.”

The Chinese Embassy in Seychelles has left its mark on the 2012 edition of “FetAfrik.” An exhibition showcasing Chinese ancestors and China's role in the transformation of Seychelles’ nation and society was mounted in the Natural Culture Center lobby, thus complementing a second exhibition on the center’s first floor, depicting Seychelles’ ties with Africa.

Taking the floor, Mr. Shi Zhongjug, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China, has emphasized on the role of China in shaping Seychelles society and that of the African countries. Mr. Shi has reiterated China's reinforced bilateral ties with Seychelles.

Reproduced below is the full address delivered by Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, on the occasion of the opening ceremony of “FetAfrik” 2012.

“Bienvenue au festival du ‘FetAfrik’ pour 2012. A special welcome to our friends from Swaziland, Rodrigues, and Mauritius who have crossed oceans to come celebrate this remarkable event with us this year.

“Africa Day, commemorated through ‘FetAfrik,’ is an important event in the Seychelles’ calendar of events. It is where our country can proudly express its African heritage and its Creole culture through distinctive, through vibrant, and through flamboyant means. This multi-artistic festival, which is largely the brainchild of the African Friendship Association (AFA), offers the opportunity for us to participate and appreciate the jovial nature of the African spirit. Considering the history of this event, we can confidently assert that much has been done to highlight the significance for Seychelles - a country with African roots and traits - to partake in the African day celebration through its own brand of activities.

“Crucial to state is that Africa Day is indeed momentous since it represents every instance in history whereby an African nation has made its stand against subordination, and any other form of inequality impeding its progression and wellbeing as a people. Thus, today through our displays and through our festivities we will reminisce about Africa’s past struggles, heroics and legends, and we will honor our forefathers - the likes of Pompée and Castor - whose deeds in the era of slavery, the Seychellois people have since then, [been] immortalized.
“’FetAfrik’ is truly a time to sing, a time to talk, a time to dance, a time to reflect, a time to question, and a time to rejoice not just amongst ourselves, but equally with our regional, as well as with our continental friends, as we aim to do so now as a symbol of African unity. In the course of this festival, we will work to exercise our links with our fellow African nations, such as through the creation of a poetry network, which stretches across the Indian Ocean to the African mainland – an initiative which attempts to transcend demographic boundaries, or differences, and bring together a diversified group of people of varied ages, of varied gender, and of varied socio-economic background. Perhaps through expressionism, and our exchange of experiences and ideas, our seemingly impervious socio-cultural and generation gaps might be bridged by our commonalities, such that societal as well as African unity, might prevail.

“To talk, to commemorate, and to rejoice to the pulsating African tempo is to remember, is to appreciate, and is to promote our country’s ancestral teachings and practices for posterity and for the development of our nation’s sense of identity and belonging. Subsequently, impossible to omit through today’s exhibits are our large array of legendary figures, ranging from the gifted traditional healer Charles Zialor, and the immaculate Josephine Cafrine, to the notorious Bonm Boutyou.

“Being fundamentally a mixed nation at large, being the melting of culture, the need to understand who we are is imperative in the country’s future development. Consequently, this year’s ‘FetAfrik’ is rather distinctive as we will not only acknowledge our African lineage, but equally the Chinese presence in the Seychelles, which dates as far back as the latter half of the nineteenth century. Significantly, the remarkable integration of our Chinese ancestors and China’s role in the transformation of our nation and society in general has persevered to present day.

“Thus, on this day in history comes the need to reflect and question not only on where we come from but also on how we wish to progress and move forth as a country whose population is of mixed origin but which is geographically and politically an African state. We shall also mark our British heritage as we celebrate on June 4 the Queen’s Jubilee with as much grace as we marked la francophonie only weeks ago, and as from next year, we shall also celebrate the fifth element of our origin that makes us the Seychellois nation and that is the Indian origin.

“Thus, I would like to end on a thank you note by expressing my gratitude to all of you for your presence and to all those who have contributed one way or another to make this event possible. I surely hope that ‘Fetafrik’ is an event that will be much appreciated.

“Bonn FetAfrik a zot tou!”

MEDIA CONTACT: seychellesupdatednews@googlemail.com

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