Cultural Relations

Cultural Relations

                 Cultural cooperation between India and Seychelles has always been significant and the history of exchange of cultural (music and dance) troupes between the two countries goes back many years.With a significant presence of NRI/PIO community in Seychelles, cultural contacts between the India and Seychelles are primarily community-driven with support from the two governments. Thanks to private initiatives by local Indian associations, several Indian cultural troupes have visited Seychelles usually during important festivals. In October 2013, an initiative was taken by the Indian High Commission along with the Ministry of Tourism & Culture of Seychelles to organize a Seychelles India Day in Victoria to showcase the various facets of contemporary India, including music, dance, handicrafts, textiles, painting, cuisine, cinema and much more. What was originally conceived as a one-off event has since been made an annual feature, prominently figuring in the Seychelles cultural calendar. The responsibility for organizing the second SID in October 2014 was given to the Seychelles Indian community, which has also agreed to take on the responsibility of organizing the event every year. In terms of popularity, the Seychelles India Day is described as second only to the Victoria International Carnival held as part of the Creole Carnival in October. The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) has been marketing special Seychelles India Day packages to attract tourists coinciding with the Seychelles India Day. In October 2014, on the occasion of the 2nd Seychelles India Day, music maestro Ilayaraja was conferred the title of “Cultural Ambassador of Seychelles” by the Government of Seychelles.  The then President James Alix Michel attended the official inauguration ceremony of Seychelles India Day (3 October 2014).  MOS for Culture (Independent Charge) Dr. Mahesh Sharma visited Seychelles (4-6 Oct 2015) in connection with the Festival of India “IndiaFest 2015” and the 3rd Seychelles India Day. The highlight of the Festival was conferring of Cultural Ambassador of Seychelles title on music maestro AR Rahman and sand art creations by Sudarsan Pattnaik.  

            Seychelles-India Day 2016  (14-16 Oct 2016) was organized by the Indian Association of Seychelles, headed by Mr. Ramu Pillay,  with the cooperation of Seychelles Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the Indian High Commission.  Govt of Seychelles declared the day as a “National Event.”  A commemorative stamp featuring a Hindu temple tower in Victoria was released by Government of Seychelles to mark the occasion. On that occasion, the Indian Association of Seychelles was gifted INR 20 lakhs granted by Ministry of Culture, Government of India. During the festival,  Seychelles Government’s decision to install a statute of Mahatma Gandhi in Victoria and to name a street as Mahatma Gandhi Avenue was announced by the former Tourism & Culture Minister Alain St. Ange.  Other highlights of the function were - highly acclaimed performances by an ICCR-sponsored contemporary dance troupe Anveshana, a Food Festival and culinary workshop at a 5-star resort, and a Gala Night of performances by several top artistes from India, including popular singers Udit Narain and Sunidhi Chauhan. 

            The Indian Association of Seychelles and this Mission jointly organized Pravasi Bhartiya Divas this year at Hotel Savoy on 8th  January 2017 in which a Seminar on the subject of Contribution of PIOs in Seychelles  was organized,  and ten earliest immigrants from Tamil Nadu and Gujarat who were successful in establishing business in Seychelles and contributed to the betterment of the Indian community and the country in general were honoured posthumously.   Prof Bibek Debroy, Member Niti Aayog, delivered the keynote address at the Seminar.  His visit was sponsored by ICCR. Seychelles Vice President Vincent Meriton, Seychelles Finance Minister Peter Larose and all well known Indian PIOs participated in the Seminar.  A cultural programme was jointly organized by this High Commission with the Indian Association of Seychelles in the evening (26 January 2017) at the International Conference Centre for Seychelles (ICCS), Victoria. Renowned Veena player Shri Rajesh Vaidya and his troupe V5 Gang gave a mesmerizing two hour performance of fusion music and enthralled more than 500 audience. Seychelles Vice President Mr Vincent Meriton, Seychelles Speaker Mr Patrick Pillay and Home Minister Ms Mitcy Larue were present.  

            Earlier in October 2014, to mark the friendship and goodwill between the two countries, former Seychelles President James Michel gifted two giant Aldabra tortoises to the Alipore Zoo, Kolkata to replace a similar tortoise of Seychelles origin at the Zoo that died in March 2006.