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Elderly people promote Seychelles' heritage, culture in new business venture

Praslin, Seychelles | October 11, 2016, Tuesday @ 10:12 in Business » TOURISM | By: Sharon Meriton-Jean and Betymie Bonnelame | Views: 5961
Elderly people promote Seychelles' heritage, culture in new business venture

Visitors to Seychelles tasting a Seychellois dish prepared in a Seychellois home. (Heritage and Cultural Education Services)

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(Seychelles News Agency) - A new business venture is putting the elderly people of Seychelles at the forefront in promoting the heritage and culture of the island nation.  

Based on Mahe, the main island, the Heritage and Cultural Education Services (HCES) is giving visitors a real taste of the Seychelles’ culture through interaction with the country’s older generation.

Katrina Souffe, manager of HCES, told SNA that the elderly "are the most knowledgeable and the more experienced on how things were done in the past.”

“We will show them the practical sides of different aspects of our culture. They will be able to help, taste, touch and why not do it themselves,” said Souffe.

Other activities to be part of the programme are learning to prepare a range of local dishes, learning traditional dances, play traditional musical instruments and basic Seychellois Creole language.  

Members of the new venture with their stand at a tourism establishment, promoting the idea of getting tourists to know more about the Seychellois culture. (Heritage and Cultural Education Services)

“Many visitors come to Seychelles and leave without really seeing how a hat is made, who weaved the basket they bought and even how the food they loved so much is cooked,” says Souffe.

Made up of 115 islands and a population of 93,000, the Seychelles’ archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, shares the culture of three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe.

Souffe says such exchanges will enable visitors to understand better how the people of Seychelles came to be and how they have evolved through the generations.

“Many young people are also interested in learning more, especially on crafts and Creole cuisine,” added Souffe.

The manager of HCES told SNA the elderly participants would be compensated for their participation in the service.

The visiting packages which are organised daily for three hours include visits to heritage sites at a fee of $112 and educational field trips for children at $84. HCES is also working in close collaboration with other local authorities such as the Seychelles Heritage Foundation, and feedback will be given on cultural sites visited. 

Souffe also says that already many tourism establishments are keen in using their services and knowledge of Seychelles' heritage and culture.

In addition to providing services to their visitors and organising exchanges with elderlies found in districts near them, Souffe adds that they will also provide assistance for the setting up of gardens with plants known for medicinal properties. 

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Tags: Heritage and Cultural Education Services, elderly, culture, traditional

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