Victoria, the Creole capital of the world, in the Seychelles is dressing up to welcome international delegates from Mauritius, Rodrigues, Reunion, and Mexico to the 27th edition of the “Festival Kreol,” which officially opened on October 26 in the center of Victoria. During six days, Seychelles will proudly celebrate its Creole identity with friends of Creole-speaking countries in a wide range of public and paid events geared for all segments of the population.
Just a week before the official opening ceremony of “Festival Kreol,” Seychelles revealed its tailor-made program encompassing events such as cultural performances, gastronomy, painting, and poetry. A spectacular official opening paying tribute to Seychelles personalities who have left their prints in the country’s culture will kick-start the festival on October 26, 2012 at the International Conference Center. The one-hour official opening ceremony stage under the theme, “Creole myth and mystical characters,” the theme of the 45-hour show played in the official opening will enthrall the crowd into a colorful ceremony. The show will also be broadcast live at 1800 hours on a big screen erected on the building of the National Culture Centre and in the children’s playground in Victoria.
For this year’s edition, Seychelles is bringing a new element to the festival. The garden of the National Culture Centre will house for three consecutive days – October 26, 27 and 29 – a village of Creole-speaking countries showcasing their cuisine, music, painting, and different facets of their Creole identity.
On a more serious note, the teams from secondary schools securing a place in the final of the Quiz Competition will be battling for a first, second, and third place at 1000 hours on October 26 at the National Theatre. The final of the Quiz competition will be followed at 1100 hours with the public-speaking finals for adults. At Kenwyn House, one of the oldest and most notable examples of French colonial architecture on the island of Mahe, arts passionates will be able to discover Camille Mondon’s water collection of paintings. The solo exhibition will officially open at 1730 hours. Whereas at 2000 hours, after the official opening of “Festival Kreol,” the stage will be decorated for the children’s variety show.
On Saturday, October 27, the village of Creole speaking countries will welcome its visitors at 1000 hours and will remain open until 1800 hours. A first for Seychelles, Alliance Francaise will present at 1000 hours a puppet show “Tigouya,” “Lo margouya te i ve ale voir la mer.” A show rich in colors staged by a theatre group from Reunion “Theatre des Alberts” tells the story of a fascinating creature, a Gecko symbol of Reunion island, “Le Margouillat” like they are commonly called, which takes the street for a journey to discover the richness of Reunion island. “Tigouya,” the name given to the Gecko in the puppet show, is staged by Eric Domenicone and played by Sylvie Esperance and Stephane Deslande. The theatre group from Reunion will present two shows for the public and school children. The first will be at 1000 hours on the 27th at the National Theatre.
The agriculture and horticulture show will open at 1000 hours at Grand Anse Mahe and at 1145 hours St. Anne Resort will feature an exhibition entitled “Coco de Mer,” a unique artwork by Marie-Laure Viebel de Villepin inspired by the Seychelles Coco de Mer nut. At 1445 hours, the town of Victoria will glow with a stream of children parading in a serenade. Dressed up in colorful flamboyant traditional clothes swinging to the beat of music, the school children will start their serenade at Huteau Lane, down to Albert Street converging in a flow of noises called “pipili Kreol” at the Clock Tower. The children will then perform a variety of traditional dance with the backdrop of the Clock Tower. The night will end with a concert by Patrick Victor and a fashion show, “Rhythm and Spice,” at Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Hotel.
Sunday, October 28, the highlight will be the populous Creole beach fair or “Dimans Kreol Borlanmer” starting at 1000 hours at Au Cap in the vicinity of Creole Institute and La Plaine St. Andre. A job fair will also be opened at 1000 hours till 1600 hours at the Creole Institute. “Tifin” a degustation of Creole homemade cakes and a variety of pastries traditionally served in weddings and special gatherings features once again on this year’s calendar of event. The event will be hosted by the Beau Vallon District Administration at 1300 hours. The discovery of Seychelles Heritage Routes and the district of Cascade is programmed for 0800 hours. Hikers will be able to discover Mt. Sebert’s breathtaking view in the Cascade district. The “vye marmit” restaurant will open its doors to the public at 1400 hours for a traditional dance of “Tinge & Moureng” and at the Riverside Pentecostal Church a Creole Gospel concert will start at 1400 hours.
On the fourth day of the festival, Monday, October 29, academics converging to Seychelles will join with their Seychellois counterpart in the International Colloquium at the Creole Institute. The official opening is set at 0930 hours. Animation at the Village of Creole speaking continues for a third and last consecutive day at 1000 till 1800 hours in the garden of the National Culture Centre. The Hall of the National Culture Centre will play host to the official opening of a collection of artworks from young talented artists of Creole speaking world. The exhibition under the theme “biodiversity” will open at 1100 hours. Another collection of paintings will be on display at “Carrefour des Arts” exhibition hall. The exhibition will showcase artworks of professional artists from Praslin and La Digue. The official opening of the exhibition is listed at 1700 hours. For a second consecutive year, the Creole Institute will launch a collection of Creole Books by Seychellois authors. Five Seychellois authors Bernard Valentin, Arzette Radegonde, Lise Morel, Colette Gillieaux, and Penda Choppy will launch their books in the literary evening called “Anba Moulapa.” Bernard Valentin’s short story is titled “Lema Paviyon,” Arzette Radegonde’s romance “Dezyenm sans,” Lise Morel children’s collection “mon ti a kontan vwar,” Colette Gillieaux’s children’s collection “Larantre,” and Penda Choppy book for adolescent “Bingo” will be launched at 1830 hours in an evening called “Anba Moulapa.”
On Tuesday, October 30, the exhibition of young artists will be opened for public viewing at the National Culture Centre at 0900 hours. At the “Carrefour des Arts,” the exhibition for professional artists on La Digue and Praslin will also be opened for public viewing at 1000 hours. The International Colloquium enters in its second day at the Creole Institute. A second puppet show “Tigouya,” will be staged for the public at 1000 hours at the National Theatre and a food fair will open in the garden of the National Culture Centre. “Cine Sesel” presents at 1900 hours a film projection at the National Culture Centre. Future Seychelles producers and actors will be given a 72-hour chrono to brainstorm on a given theme by the “Cine Sesel” committee and produce a small film Creole film. All films will be projected at 1900 hours. At 2000 hours, Seychelles’ talented singer Sandra will be live in concert at the International Conference Centre.
Wednesday, October 31, the curtain will fall on the 27th edition of “Festival Kreol” with a traditional Creole ball. The “Leve Tradisyon band” will throughout the night until 6 in the morning entertain the dancers. This year’s “Voyaz” will pay tribute to Creole Collette Gillieaux. This event will be held at l’Alliance Francaise at 1000 hours. A special guest from La Reunion, Genevieve Ceccaldi, will be present at l’Alliance Francaise to present an animation show for school children. The Garden of the National Culture Centre will host a variety of events: at 1100 hours a food fair will be opened for the public and at 1630 hours the public will be able to listen to poems and stories and watch a performance of the traditional troupe. Jean Marc Volcy will be live in concert at 1900 hours at the International Conference Center, a music performance of Seychellois and regional artists “Lakadans” is scheduled at 2000 hours at the Ex SMB Hall, and “a traditional ball – Bal Kreol” is programmed at 2000 hours at the International Conference Centre. La Bastille will be opened for the public at 0900 for a Drumstick Leaves day and at 1000 hours, hikers will discover a second heritage routes on Mahe in the Port Glaud district.
Seychelles is a founding member of the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP).