Tourism through culture is ensuring unique attractions off the beaten track are discovered. This week, Minister Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, was at Val Dan D’Or in West Mahe and stopped at the home of respected herbalist, Ferdinand Vidot.]
The Minister was accompanied by Benjamine Rose, the PS for Culture; Miera Savy, the CEO of the Seychelles Heritage Foundation; and Patrick Nanty, the Cultural Advisor to the Minister, and they were given a tour of the extensive garden of endemic and medicinal plants. Many Seychellois families visit the property of Ferdinand Vidot to get medicinal plants, and this practice has been increasing in the last couple of years.
Present also were Elga Rose, the daughter of Mr. Vidot, and her husband who have resettled in Seychelles after years in Belgium.
“The knowledge of what our elders used and the understanding of the medicinal values of our plants is a strength of Ferdinand Vidot. He is part of our culture, and we need more than ever before, to keep encouraging our people to be proud of what they can do,” said Minister St.Ange.
The collection of trees on the property of Ferdinand Vidot is said to be a tourist attraction in its own right, which is why the Departments of Culture and that of Tourism are working together to ensure that Seychelles is not only working to safeguard its culture but also using it as a tourism attraction. Arrangements are being made to include a small event at Ferdinand Vidot during the coming Festival Kreol in October.
In discussions at his house, Mr. Vidot showed off his prized handwritten book by Doctor Clement Daruty with a foreword by Doctor H. Claren dating back to 1885. “This book is a treasure trove of medicinal recipes,” said Minister St.Ange, as he glanced through the book.
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