The People

Visitors to Seychelles often like to comment on the nonchalant disposition of the Seychelles Kreol people. Like other Kreols of the world, it may be true to say the Seselwa (or Seychellois) like to make the most of life in the earthly paradise---"Lanmor I voler’ (Death comes as a thief) the old folks or ‘granmoun’ used to say.

In most of the social gatherings at community level or in families, food, music and drinks in plenty is a must. The local cuisine which consists mainly of rice, fish, meat, food crops, a variety of tropical vegetables and fruits and a lot of spices are prepared in a variety of ways which reminds one of the multi-ethnic constitution of the population. A good fish or meat curry – well seasoned with masala (curry powder) and coconut milk, when desired, is considered typically Kreol.

Seychellois are great music lovers. Though disco music today is very popular among young people who are up-to-date with all the latest world releases, modern adaptations of traditional music on CDs are well listened to as well. The influence comes from the deep African rhythm (evident in the moutya, sega) and the European waltz, polka, scottish, mazurkas etc. (the kanmtole) derived from the quadrilles or country dances.

Apart from international music, the Seychellois youth in particular, enjoy the local Kreol adaptations of root reggae/ reggae (‘seggae’, ‘mouggae’…) raga-muffin (‘kanmtorag’…), rap including R& B, hip-hop, soukous, zouk… not forgetting the modern sega music typical of the Indian Ocean region and ‘oldies and goodies’ from the "romances", or ballads, to country, rock and roll, souls, blues, gospel…

Local artists, such as Jean-Marc Volcy and Jenny de Letourdie, have made a name for themselves and have gained international repute by adapting melodies and lyrics from traditional artists such as the well-known ‘ Ton Pa ’ (Jacob Marie).

These pieces reveal the gamut of traditional tunes played on now disappearing instruments such as the zither (zez), or the musical arc (bonm), and many others such as the makalapo and the mouloumba not forgetting the instruments accompanying the moutia, sokwe, tinge, madilo dancers etc…

The exigency to revive Seychelles ’ traditional culture, including customs and traditions, started with the 5 June 1977 Revolution and has influenced all facets of life including the reinforcement of the community spirit based on solidarity or "sharing and caring".

Today, in many international publications one can read of Seychelles having one of the highest standards of living in Africa and one of the highest literacy rates. Life expectancy is compared to that of developed countries, as is the low infant mortality rate. On the Human Development Index, Seychelles is placed among the highest in the developing world. As the young nation enters the new millennium in the 21st century many have expressed their admiration for the social progress under the "Seychelles Way of Life”..

All these developments have had a large impact on the life of the young nation, which only a quarter of a century ago was still under the colonial yoke and was struggling to survive with a traditional copra and cinnamon cash crop economy.

Nowadays, the people are engaged in activities such as employment in modern factories based on a flourishing tuna industry, and work in hotels and its associated services..

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