Festival Kreol is the beating heart of Seychelles culture. The most significant event of the packed Seychelles cultural calendar, and the 2016 event, which took place from the 21st to the 31st October, was the biggest and best Festival Kreol yet!
The Festival Kreol attracts an international audience and spectators travel from all over the globe to enjoy the vibrant experience of this ten-day extravaganza. Visitors have their senses stimulated with the sounds, flavours and fragrances of this vibrant corner of the Creole world, where the principle of preserving tradition, while embracing modernity, produces a unique cultural blend.
The 2016 Festival Kreol commenced on Friday 21st October with a musical performance at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) in Victoria that kept listeners enthralled until after midnight. Over at the International Conference Centre (ICC) venue, paying guests enjoyed the glamour of the second staging of the annual ‘Miss Kreol de Zil’ beauty pageant.
Friday also saw the opening of the Creole Bazaar, held at the NSC Hall, Roche Caiman, which ran throughout the entirety of the Festival. The Bazaar offered a wide range of stalls featuring local cuisine, crafts and garments to delight locals and tourists alike.
Art, music and dance were the highlights of the Festival’s second day with musical performances in Market Street, Victoria, and contrasting events at the NCC. The Federation of Seychelles Artists demonstrated the extraordinary array of artistic talent in the region with their exhibition in the National Gallery, and in the evening, there was a spectacular celebration of Kreol dancing.
Time for the Kreol youth to shine
On Monday 24th October, there was more art on display at the ICC with the Kouzen Reunionnais Photo Exhibition and the following day it was the turn of the region’s young creatives to show off their work in the Zenn Artis Kreolofonn exhibition at Carrefour des Arts. Young performers also took centre stage on Tuesday evening as the youth of the National Conservatoire of Performing Arts staged a beautiful open air music performance.
The new Research Institute of Kreol Language and Literature
The following day saw the launch of an important new institution: the Research Institute for Kreol Language and Literature, at the University of Seychelles. Its objective is to work to preserve and raise the awareness of Creole culture.
Drama, Official ceremony
That same evening, at the ICC, there were two memorable dramatic performances: En Swar en été by Rodrigues and Vavangere by La Reunion, both of which were very well received by the audiences.
As always, the centrepiece of this year’s Festival Kreol was the official ceremony, held on Friday 28th October. This special event was attended by the recently elected President, Danny Faure. The President and several ministers and foreign dignitaries, and the audience enjoyed a spectacular show at the Stad Popiler. The show itself was preceded by the ever popular Laserenad event, with performers and locals showcasing their clothes, music and cuisine on the streets of the capital.
Food, fashion and dance for sure
The following day was packed full of cultural highlights, including an exhibition of authentic Creole food and delicacies, a story-telling and poetry event at the Domaine Val de Pres. There was a fabulous evening show at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort, which featured a fashion show and a lively demonstration of Moutya dancing.
A Catholic Mass, a musical icon and the Creole Ball
After the quiet splendour of the final Sunday’s Creole mass, held at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Festival Kreol came to a glorious conclusion on Monday 31st October.
A tribute was made to the Seychelles musical icon, Francois Havelock, followed by the traditional Creole Ball, held at the International Creole Institute. The festivities, which lasted until the early hours of the following morning, marked another successful Festival Kreol.