SEYCHELLES – Berjaya together with Seychelles Tourism Board, Diplomatic Spouses Association, and the Ministry of Culture joined together to present the INDIAN FOOD & CULTURAL EVENING with the theme, Namaste India (Welcome India), on Saturday, August 21, 2010.
“This was the largest cultural event our hotel company has ever organized in the Seychelles. This cultural evening brought more than 50 families in the local community closer together as many children participated in the fashion show, which comprises of both children and adults. We also showcase[d] several fusion (India and Seychelles) dance performances and [a] martial arts performance from Kerala. Seychelles has a rich multi-cultural society to be proud of. The evening’s SOLD OUT event had a record crowd of more than 400 people [and] shows the demand for more cultural events in the country. Our hotel’s humble Indian Chef Hafizulla Shaikh managed to present a spread of authentic Indian cuisine from [the] region of North Indian to South Indian for all to enjoy,” said Mr. Ken Choo, general manager of Seychelles Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino.
The Indian Food & Cultural Evening was a night of true celebration in the Creole Tropical Islands of the Seychelles, which included the lighting of the traditional Indian lamp. Part of the proceeds from the ticket sales went to several charitable organizations in the local Seychelles community. Tourism numbers from the Indian sub-continent into Seychelles has improved from 930 (Year 2009 YTD) to 2,548 (2010 YTD). Berjaya Hotels not only expect the tourism numbers from India into Seychelles to improve but also believes in the trade possibilities between the two countries.
India has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and come November 1, 2010, Air Seychelles shall launch a new weekly direct flight to Chennai in India. The new Seychelles-India flight is expected to be a plus to the tourism trade. This special INDIAN FOOD & CULTURAL EVENING celebration in the Seychelles follows a week after India celebrated the 64th anniversary of its independence, which was held on August 14, 2010.
“The Seychelles Diplomatic Spouses, Mrs. Madhumita Nag (Indian High Commissioner’s spouse), Mrs. Lydia Forbes (British High Commissioner’s spouse), Mrs. Brigitte Bianchin-Mignot (French Ambassador’s spouse), Mrs. Tatiana Kalinina (Russian Ambassador’s spouse), and Mrs. Natalia Pryzhkova (Russian Counselor’s spouse) were all dressed in traditional colorful sari. We also [had] the pleasure of the company of Designated Minister, Mr. Vincent Meriton, the Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports; Mr. Peter Sinon, the Minister of Investment, Natural Resources and Industry; Government Principle Secretaries Denis Rose, Raymonde Onezime, Marina Confait and Benjamin Choppy; the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Alain St. Ange; and Rear Admiral RK Pattanaik, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Fleet of the Indian Navy,” Ken Choo of Berjaya Hotels said.
Addressing the gathered guests during the evening, Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board congratulated the Berjaya Hotels for organizing the cultural evening. “Seychelles prides itself on the diversity of its population, and this cultural evening showcases this diversity as it reminds everyone of the importance and the potential of our Cultural Tourism. The diversity of our island group (granitic and coral), the diversity of our population, the diversity of the food we have, are strong points we have and points we cherish,” St.Ange said as he spoke to the full house at the Berjaya Hotel of Beau Vallon Bay & Casino on Mahe in the Seychelles.