Together Forever in Seychelles
by His Excellency Philippe Le Gall, the Seychelles Ambassador to China
Below is the transcript of HE Philippe Le Gall’s message, given in February this year, for the “Chinese New Year celebrations”, in Seychelles. This neatly encapsulates the Seychelles/China friendship, the Chinese New Year
and provides an insight into his book.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, I would like to wish a happy Spring Festival and a prosperous year ahead to all Seychellois, especially those of Chinese origin, and to all Chinese visitors now in Seychelles.
As you know we are celebrating the arrival of the “year of the horse” so I have special greetings for those born under that sign, in particular fellow Seychellois and Chinese who, like me, turn 60 this year, as the 60th anniversary is of tremendous importance in Chinese culture, being considered the completion of one life cycle and the start of a new life cycle.
On that occasion, and as part of my Ministry’s contribution to this celebration, I am glad to present the Chinese version of my last book published by People’s Daily Press, one of the leading Chinese media group releasing worldwide the newspaper bearing the same name and having a daily circulation of 3 to 4 million.
“Together Forever”, will be officially launched in Beijing in April. It is comprises of two short stories.
In the first one, a Chinese single-handed navigator, unhappy with his life, decides to set sail without heading for a specific destination. This way he travels great distances, drifting with winds and currents, till he reaches the shores of an uncharted island, somewhere in Seychelles’ waters. All people living there are a bit strange and seem totally disconnected from modern life…but for him true love is just around the corner!
In the second short story, I imagine that mankind has become so bad and so many innocents are killed every day that the management of an over-crowded (extra-terrestrial) HEAVEN has no other option but to open a branch on earth, also on an uncharted island, somewhere in Seychelles’ waters. When mankind comes back to its senses and the daily flow of souls eligible to enter Heaven is under control this paradise on earth is put up for sale through advertisements in a number of Chinese real estate agencies….
The first short story is named TOGETHER and second one FOREVER and therefore it should be understood as “together forever in Seychelles”.
As a fiction writer I use humour to entertain my readers. However, the main reason I wrote these stories is because Seychelles and China have become close friends and reliable economic partners, and the promotion of Seychelles on China’s outbound tourism market is showing all signs of a fast developing success story. This calls for more cultural products, including novels, tourist guides and brochures full of practical tips on Seychelles’ way of life. This is available in Chinese, as well as other goods and services responding to the needs and expectations of a Chinese clientele.
I wish to avail of this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and STB (Seychelles Tourist Board) in particular, for helping our Embassy in Beijing, as well as Seychelles Consulate General in Shanghai and our Honorary Consulate General for Hong-Kong and Macao, to promote Seychelles interests in the region.
In the same spirit, I want to congratulate my esteemed colleague Ambassador Shi Zhongjun for having joined this initiative taken with the support of relevant Seychellois Ministries, and the Seychellois community of Chinese origin, especially the Chinese Association and Union of Seychelles.
This Chinese New Year celebratory event demonstrates that Seychelles’ cultural identity is deeply rooted in the long history of exchanges between the two countries. It also shows, both in Seychelles and China, the potential resulting from such strong links in terms of friendship and economic cooperation. Finally, it portrays Seychelles as one of the safest and most friendly world destinations for Chinese visitors.
I will conclude by expressing my gratitude to Mr. Zhang Liping, CEO of the International Travel Services (Seychelles) Limited-ITSS for his assistance in the publication of this book.
Ladies and Gentlemen, “A Happy and Prosperous Year of the Horse” to all of you.
Xin Chun Kuai Le, Ma Nian Ji Xiang!