(Seychelles News Agency) - On August 27, 250 years ago, the first
settlers arrived in Seychelles – today recognized as a group of 115
islands in the western Indian Ocean. The 28 people were French and their
slaves from Africa and India.
The first settlers came to the
islands onboard the vessel Telemaque, and they established their first
settlement on the inner island of Ste. Anne.
As the island
nation celebrates its 250th anniversary today, SNA looks at how these
people have influenced the birth and development of the island nation.
The Creole identity
is often said that the Seychellois people are a melting pot of races.
Indeed, this rightly describes the composition of the Creole nation. The
people of Seychelles represent an ethnic diversity that dates from the
second half of the 18th century.
And for sure the French settlers and slaves who came to Seychelles in 1770 became the cradle of the Creole identity.
is often pointed out that the Creole spoken by the islanders closely
resembles French. For sure the French-speaking settlers imported the
language which became the base of Creole.
It can be said that Creole is 75 percent French but with the influences of Malagasy and African languages.
First root crops
the group arrived on the islands, they brought with them the first
crops needed for consumption and survival on the islands.
crops included rice, maize, cassava and sweet potatoes. In fact, rice
originally from India and not grown locally became the staple food for
The islander's music gets
its rhythm from African as well as from Europe. For instance, the
moutya is a traditional dance similar to the sega. The rhythm for the
dance is from a drum, and the songs which accompany the dance are those
that recount the hardship of everyday life.
Other dances known
locally as "kontredans" and "valz" are European influenced. In fact, a
dance locally called "kotis" is said to descend from the Scottish.
like the Creole people, Seychelles' cuisine is rich and diverse, a
fusion of the races which made up the islanders. Rice, the staple, was
bought in by the Indians.
The islanders also love their curries,
no doubt there. The taste for sure is acquired from the Indians who not
only influenced Seychelles' dishes but also brought in a variety of
spices such as the "masala", the curry leaves as well as the murunga
which is consumed as a broth.
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