For the 5th year running, Victoria, capital of the enchanting Seychelles islands, played host to the most successful carnival yet, bringing together 40,000 spectators, 2,000 performers and 60 floats from all continents of the world, creating the biggest event in the West Indian Ocean.
The glamorous spectacle showcased a vibrant range of different colours, tastes, smells and sounds, exciting the senses and unveiling a magical feast for the eyes. With all this going on it is no wonder that the world’s media were attracted, with over 200 journalists also present to witness the festivities and enjoy the hospitality of this proud nation.
The carnival was originally made possible by the vision of Seychelles Tourism & Culture Minister Alain St. Ange. Speaking from the heart at the official opening ceremony in an inspiring address to the excited crowd, the minister stated:
“Five years ago we had a dream – a dream to create a cultural event that would invite the world to join together in a spirit of dialogue, in a spirit of peace and in a spirit of total harmony and this immaterial of your religious affiliation, the color of your skin and of your political belief.
Last year at the official opening of the carnival I stood before you, and as I used the words of John Lennon, I said “You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one”. Today I say look at what we can do when we work as one, look at the carnival a small country like Seychelles can stage for the world at large. We had a dream and as the popular Ghana song says, “If you dream, dream big, as big as the ocean” – and yes we did dream big for Seychelles.”
He later went on to say: “With the needed tenacity and with determination our dream and this is for each and every one of us, our dream can become a reality. As I stand here tonight to open the 5th edition of our carnival I say we have but one Seychelles, and we are but one people. Let us all look at the past and learn from that past as we embrace peace in the unity we have during this time of carnival.
We had a dream, we had worked together to achieve this dream. We wanted to create an event, which promotes peace, unity and togetherness. Yes, the Seychelles Carnival has succeeded and we can proudly say that the carnival has managed to bring different nations and different people together and in a spirit of total harmony, and this regardless of your religious affiliation, the colour of your skin and of your political belief.
Let us continue to dream together to see our Seychelles become the place were unity reigns. One people we are and one nation we have. The tourism industry remains an industry, which unites the people, and our cultural events consolidate this unity. The achievements of the tourism industry are the result of the joint government-private sector partnership.”