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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Discover Africa: Seychelles- The Republic Of Seychelles!


The republic of Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian ocean. The 115 Island country whose capital is Victoria lies 1,500 km east of mainland southeast Africa. Nearby Island countries and territories include; Comoros, Mayote, Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius to the south.
Seychelles has a population of 90,024 which is the smallest population of independent African states.
The climate is equable although quite humid as the islands are small. The temperature varies a little throughout the year between 24 C to 31 C.


The Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children. Unwed mothers are the societal norm and the law requires fathers to support their children. Men are important for their earning ability but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.

Traditional attaires





Cuisine
The staple foods of the Seychelles include fish, sea food and shell fish dishes accompanied with rice. Fishes are either steamed, grilled, wrapped in banana leaves, baked, salted and smoked. Curry dishes with rice are also a significant aspect of the country's cuisine.


Tourism
The Seychelles islands are blessed with a year long warm, tropical climate, its always a good time to visit. Although different times of the year may be better suited to the tourist's particular interests.
The 'SUBIOS underwater festival' show-cases Seychelles extraordinary underwater world through a series of film shows, talks and competitions while the 'Festival Kreol' (a week-long celebration of creol heritage and tradition) is held in october each year.
The 'Seychelles sailing cup' an international sailing event is held in January and the 'international fishing competition' is held in November. Further local fishing competitions are held throughout the year.

Activities:
  • Bird watching- April (breeding season), May-September (nesting sooty terns), October (migration)
  • Diving- March-May/ September-November
  • Fishing- October-April
  • Hiking/walks & trails- May-September
  • Sailing- all year round
  • Snorkeling- all year round
  • Surfing/ wind surfing- May-September

Tourist Attractions

  • The 'Vallee de Mai- UNESCO world heritage site : Seychelles’ second UNESCO World Heritage Site is the legendary Vallée de Mai, administered by the Seychelles Islands Foundation. So remarkable that it was once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden, this hauntingly beautiful primeval forest is home to some 6000 Coco-de-mer trees, considered to be among the botanical wonders of the world.

    The Vallée boasts six endemic palm species as well as many other indigenous trees and is also the last habitat of the endangered Black Parrot.
  • Port Launay / Baie Ternay Marine National Park:  Port Launay Marine National Park is famous for its whale shark sightings. In their season, these huge gentle giants of the sea can be seen swimming lazily around feeding on the rich plankton that accumulates in the park. The reefs on both sides of the bay provide a wonderful opportunity to use your mask and snorkel, while the beautiful sandy beach is quiet and inviting to both sun worshipers wanting to work on their tan or those who simply want to relax and read a book under the large shady Takamaka trees. This park can be reached by land or sea providing great comfort after a morning of trawling in blue waters or hiking off the nearby Greater Morne Seychellois National Park.
  • Nigel Henri Acrylic Paintings:  Local artist Nigel Henri produces original acrylic paintings on canvas which depict cultural life in Seychelles as well as underwater scenes. The artist’s studio will gladly courier purchased works all over the world via DHL.

    Nigel's works are displayed at his studio in Beau Vallon, as well as at Kenwyn House, Hilton Seychelles Northolme Hotel & Spa, Eden Art Gallery - Eden Island, Takamaka Bay Art Gallery - La Plaine St André and Gallerie Passerose - Praslin. 
  • Victoria:   Named Port Victoria in honor of the British queen after her coronation, the small capital of the Seychelles is the only seaport in the country. One of the main tourist attractions is the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens. Established almost a century ago, the gardens encompass 15 acres of native and exotic plants as well as flying foxes, giant tortoises, and an orchid garden. Modern buildings of concrete and glass have sprouted up in recent years and the few remaining colonial buildings lie around Freedom Square. The most prominent historical structure is the clock tower. Erected in 1903, it was modeled on Little Ben, a small version of Big Ben in London.

    Overlooking the square, St Paul's Cathedral is built on the site of the first church of the Seychelles, which was destroyed by a freak cyclone in 1862. At Rond-Point de l'Indépendance, in the centre of the city, a statue of three pairs of bird's wings symbolizes the origins of the population in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Shoppers head to Sir Selwyn Clarke Market where locals sell fish, fresh fruits, and vegetables, and the many craft shops offer souvenirs ranging from ship models to pearl jewelry. For an overview of the flora and fauna of the Seychelles, visit the Natural History Museum, which also displays a few historical artifacts.
  • Beau Vallon: The alluring curve of glittering sand at Beau Vallon, on Mahé's northwest coast, is a magnet for both tourists and locals. Looking out to sea, mountainous Silhouette Island shimmers on the horizon, and hotels fringe the shore. Visitors will find a variety of watersports on offer, including jet skis and water skiing. The sea is usually calm here, especially during the southeast tradewinds, making this a good choice for families with small children. Lifeguards patrol the beach.
  • Ste Anne National Marine Park: Encompassing six islands off the coast of Mahé near Victoria, Ste Anne National Marine Park became the first national park in the Indian Ocean in 1973. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and glass-bottom boat excursions reveal the diversity of marine life in the park's coral reefs, and visitors can explore most of the islands within the reserve. Home to a five-star resort, Ste Anne Island, is an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles. In spite of its mangroves and crocodiles, the island was the site of a 1770 French settlement, the first in the Seychelles.

    On Round Island, a former leper colony, visitors can explore the ruins of the hospital, enjoy a nature walk, or dine at the Creole restaurant. Île Cachée is an important breeding site for noddies and a designated protected nature reserve. At Cerf Island, visitors can swim, snorkel, or dive along the beautiful reefs or bask on the uncrowded beaches, while privately owned Moyenne Island features nature trails, reconstructed settlers' homes, pirate graves, and a small, thatched chapel.

Seychelles Flag - History

five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment
Seychelles Flag - Colors
Colors
Seychelles Flag - Colors meaning
blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment
Seychelles Flag - Facts
five oblique bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, red, white, and green (bottom) radiating from the bottom of the hoist side; the oblique bands are meant to symbolize a dynamic new country moving into the future; blue represents sky and sea, yellow the sun giving light and life, red the peoples' determination to work for the future in unity and love, white social justice and harmony, green the land and natural environment

Marriage, Family, and Kinship :
Marriage- Consensual unions are common but less so among the gran'bla and the Indian and Chinese communities. Polygamy is not practiced, but unions are unstable and divorce or breakup is common. Fifty to 60 percent of births are to women who are not married and often are not acknowledged by the child's father. The partners generally arrange the marriage. There is a strong contractual aspect to marriage, with a clear division of responsibilities between men and women. Among working-class

Market Street, the crowded shopping street in Victoria. Tourism employs 30 percent of the workforce.
people, the man gives his spouse his wages, which are used for daily expenditures for food, clothes, and the children. Women use their own income for durables, which they keep if the union dissolves. To a large extent, marriages occur within the same social and color strata.
Domestic Unit- The form of the domestic unit varies with class. The ideal gran'bla family is nuclear. Among plantation workers, serial monogamy is prevalent, with the woman as the stable center of a domestic unit that consists of herself, her husband (married or in a consensual union), her children regardless of their father, and fostered children. Plantation workers developed a highly regulated system of fosterage in which firstborn children were given to the maternal grandmother or an aunt. A young women who gave away a child early would receive children later from her daughters or younger sisters. This fostering occurred in all classes. The nature of the system differed with the relative social class of the child giver and the child recipient: with large asymmetry in favor of the recipient, this became a system of domestic child work. With the sharp reduction in fertility rates in recent years, the system has been impossible to maintain. Each member of a household is assigned his or her own tasks. Inheritance is bilateral, with men and women having equal rights.

 Kin Groups- Descent is generally bilateral and no descent groups are formed. However, descent has a strong matrilateral bias, especially in the working class. That and the practice of fostering children create networks of women that resemble kin groups. Gran'bla families were formed in the same manner as European families, with an emphasis on patrilineal succession to a name and attempts to keep property within the family. (everyculture.com)

Some of the great hotels and spa you will find in Seychelles are: Kempinski Seychelles Resort, La Reserve Hotel, Chateau St Cloud, Savoy Resort & Spa, Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove, and Sunset Beach Hotel etc. The list is endless. Find out more about hotels and resorts in Seychelles here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/HotelsList-Seychelles-Luxury-Resorts-zfp157182.html



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