Seychelles Tourism Minister: We can reach greater heights by remaining united

The Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Alain St.Ange, has called on the Chinese community living in Seychelles to remain united so as to reach greater heights.

He was speaking at the official launch of the third edition of the Seychelles-China Day celebrations at the Eden Bleu hotel on Thursday, February 4. The Seychelles-China Day Celebrations is the first cultural event in Seychelles for the year 2016.

Addressing those present, Minister St.Ange said the Seychelles-China Day celebrations is a way to recognize one of the five branches which has helped to build the Seychellois nation, and that is China.

He added that Seychelles is a strong country, because the islands are today able to recognize all of its historical links.

This Chinese Spring Festival in Seychelles which coincides with the annual Seychelles-China Day Celebrations will, as from 2017, appear on the list of the official countries that are staging the Chinese Spring Festival. Seychelles will become the 41st country to be accredited to celebrate this Chinese Feast, and the islands will receive entertainers from China, and they will be accompanied by Chinese press. “This is a big step for Seychelles; as a small state, our event will now not only be recognized by China, but they will work with us to ensure the event that appears on the calendar of events of China is staged with the help of China,” the Minister said.

“Today as we join together to mark a day dedicated to our local Chinese community, we see a strong Chinese community and a Chinese Embassy that supports you. We hope that through this unity, your strength will keep on growing,” the Minister added.

Minister St.Ange remarked that the first President of Seychelles ̶ Sir James Mancham ̶ is also of Chinese origin and so is the country’s first Seychellois Bishop of the Anglican Church French Chang-Him.

“From the days of building Seychelles, there has never been division that stopped us rallying for the good of Seychelles. By remaining united, the local Chinese community and Seychelles as a country can reach greater heights. We must never forget that we are but one people working for the one Seychelles we all have as our country,” the Minister said.

Gracing the event with their presence were the former President, James Mancham, and Lady Mancham; Designated Minister Vincent Meriton and other ministers; the Chinese chargé d’affaires, Zhang Xiangyang; and other members of the diplomatic corps; members of the National Assembly; Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture; Anne Lafortune, the PS for Tourism; Sherin Naiken, the CEO of the Tourism Board; Jimmy Savy, the CEO of the National Arts Council; high government officials; members of the Chinese community; and other guests.

The Seychelles-China Day event is hosted jointly by the island’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Chinese Embassy, and the local Chinese community with the aim of promoting the friendship and cultural exchanges between Seychelles and China.

Also addressing invitees, Mr. Zhang said the Seychelles-China Day coincides with the Spring Festival which falls on February 8. He wished all Chinese and Seychellois people a happy Spring Festival which is celebrating the year of the monkey.

Mr. Zhang said China and Seychelles enjoy a long relationship dating back to 150 years ago when the first Chinese settled here. He said the two countries will also be marking the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic bond they share, adding that the bilateral relations have been of great benefit to both sides.

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2016 is the year of the monkey. This animal has a special place in the hearts of the Chinese people, and monkeys are intelligent, smart, brave, and energetic; 2016 will be a year full of progress for both countries. Mr. Zhang thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Chinese community, and the Shanxi art troupe for the success of this year’s celebrations.

The Chairperson of the Seychelles Chinese Association, Charlie Ng Ping Cheun, thanked the government of Seychelles and that of China and the local Chinese community for making this event a success.

He said the Seychelles-China Day event gives members of the public the chance to experience and enjoy the diversity of the Chinese culture.

Those present at the launch enjoyed the performances by the Shanxi art troupe. The members of this art troupe will also be performing tonight at the International Conference Centre.

Seychelles is a founding member of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) . For more information on Seychelles Minister of Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange, click here.