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"Creole Rendez-Vous" brings delicacies and delights to Seychelles' Praslin island

Victoria, Seychelles | June 16, 2024, Sunday @ 08:37 in Entertainment » ARTS & CULTURE | By: Mandy Bertin Edited By: Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 3589
"Creole Rendez-Vous" brings delicacies and delights to Seychelles' Praslin island

The initiative, called "Creole Rendez-Vous, that was launched by the Department of Tourism last year. (Mandy Bertin)

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Visitors to Seychelles and locals had the chance during the weekend to appreciate the Creole culture during a cultural tourism event called the "Rendez-Vous Praslinois" on Praslin, the second most populated island.

The initiative, called "Creole Rendez-Vous, that was launched by the Department of Tourism last year, is also held on La Digue Island to give the local community a place to market and sell their locally made products.

Artisans and entrepreneurs on Praslin mounted their stalls all around the Berjaya Praslin Beach Hotel's beachfront area while various local handicrafts, drinks and dishes were also on sale.

Bernadette Sofola, a well-known entrepreneur from Anse Kerlan, in the district of Grand Anse, showcased her products in her stall that day. "Kot Dadette" - the name of her business, produces an assortment of jams made with various fruits, coconut nougat (coconut fudge), cassava cake, pickles and curry powder.

"I acquired these skills from my great grandparents so I decided to put into practice what I have learned," she said.

Bernadette Sofola, a well-known entrepreneur from Anse Kerlan, in the district of Grand Anse. (Mandy Bertin) Photo License: CC-BY  

Mikaela Marie, owner of Chaquell tailoring, sold her locally-made products but decided not to stick to only tailoring but to venture into another avenue.

For the past two years, the young artisan has been working with resin, a semi-solid natural and synthetic compound that can be hardened into a durable plastic material.

She uses resin to make a selection of jewellery items such as necklaces and earrings and the main attraction at her stall was the handbag she has sewn with the map of Praslin on it.

There were also various stalls selling scrumptious dishes such as the fruit bat curry, cooked in coconut milk and the much-loved salted fish chutney.

Another stall that attracted a lot of visitors was one belonging to Florette Barbe and her 89-year-old mother Eloise Barbe. Both artisans were weaving dried up leaves of a type of palm tree called Latanier or Seychelles stilt palm. Aside from Latanier, they also use coconut leaf sheath, which is known as tanmi koko in the local language. With latanier leaves, handbags, table mats in the form of the famous coco de mer nut and the giant tortoises of Aldabra are made.

An artisans were weaving dried up leaves of a type of palm tree called Latanier or Seychelles stilt palm. (Mandy Bertin) Photo License:  CC-BY 

Handmade coconut soy wax candles, coconut wax melts and coconut vegan reed diffusers were also on sale by Sey Glow, a local business owned by Beverley and Craig Green.

Sey Glow focuses on natural, clean and sustainable handmade products that bear Creole names such as Moutya, kanmtole, Dan Marmit and Fanm Kreol.

The cultural experience would not be complete without the traditional Moutya dance, which has been added to UNESCO's list of intangible heritage, and this is exactly what was on the programme to close the curtains on this event.

Speaking to SNA, the director general for Destination Planning and Development in the Tourism Department, Paul Lebon, said the event falls under the Creole Rendez-Vous umbrella that the Tourism Department is promoting, to enhance visitor experience in terms of cultural tourism activities.

"Many visitors have voiced out that there is a lack of cultural experience and activities that will enable them to enjoy and learn about the Seychellois culture, so we have taken the lead through these series of events," he said.

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Tags: Rendez-Vous Praslinois, Creole Rendez-Vous

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