Saturday afternoon and the annual Seychelles Festival Kreol, the 34th of its kind, reached its public climax when the parade juggernaut began to waltz into Victoria.
The ‘Laserenad’ (Serenade) is an activity that has been forever present on the programme of activities organised during the annual Festival Kreol. It brings together participants ranging from children up to the elderly citizens who work together to showcase a chosen theme depicting and promoting the creole culture.
Traditional games, clothing and music, the Creole cuisine, the Seychelles flowers were some of the aspects of the creole heritage that manifested in the Seychelles capital of Victoria.
Defying the humid temperatures, some 22 groups hailing from most of the districts on the Seychelles main island of Mahé converged on the streets of Victoria at 4pm local time moving to the beat of traditional creole music as a large crowd, including visitors to the islands, lined up the streets.
Started in 1985 as a manifestation of the archipelago’s Creole culture and heritage the festival has grown in leaps and bounds since then. Creole, after English and French, is the third national language and is spoken by literally every Seychellois.
All the performances were greatly appreciated by those who had come down to Victoria
According to journalist and policy maker Gervais Henrie, this year’s carnival has proved that the Kreole festival is a melting point of cultures.
Henrie observes that “this year there have been more tourists than before which makes the 34th edition different”.
We also spoke to one tourist couple who had visited from Qatar. They said this was their first time in Seychelles and were impressed by how the small African island is embracing its culture.
“If we all emulated such a spectacle we would appreciate and preserve our different cultures”.
Also present was Reunion Island, a faithful supporter of past Carnival editions and regular participant in the Festival Kreol too, Mauritius including the island of Rodrigues.
The first day of the Festival Kreol ended with more entertainment in Victoria where thousands of fans converged to Stad Popiler for a night concert.