Under the heading of, Eye Witness, to reconfirm that they had personally traveled to Seychelles to see for themselves the Seychelles carnival of carnivals, “Island on Parade” is the title given to the four-page article by Jeffrey Kong where he says that the world came to Seychelles for the Carnaval International de Victoria 2011. Jeffrey Kong is the Editor of PASSPORT and the resident photojournalist with Asian Geographic magazine.
The world press has been coming out with a stream of reviews on the March 2011 carnival of carnivals of the Seychelles. It was the turn of the very respected Asian Geographic PASSPORT magazine to dedicate four pages of its last issue to a coverage of the Seychelles unique carnival now wildly referred to as the only carnival of carnivals.
Seychelles launched a carnival with a difference in March this year when they invited the world press to Seychelles to see for themselves the world’s best carnival parade alongside cultural groups from the Community of Nations. Over twenty countries participated, and among them a delegation from Notting Hill from the UK, Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago, and Venice in Italy – all four known carnivals of the world. The other participating countries send carnival floats and cultural groups to showcase their own diversity and people. The Indian Ocean of La Reunion; Indonesia; France; South Africa; Korea; Zimbabwe; China; Zanzibar, Tanzania; Madagascar; and India were among the list of countries who descended on Seychelles to be part of the world’s first carnival of carnivals.
Jeffrey Kong in his article in PASSPORT magazine wrote: “By the time we reached the capital of Victoria, the crowd had already swelled around the city’s iconic Clock Tower, where a stage was built for the evening’s performances. Gracing the opening ceremony was singer Dionne Warwick, a Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization, who had the crowd grooving to her hit song “That’s What Friends Are For” after her speech on the global fight against hunger. Next was the Seychelles President James Michel, who opened the carnival with a heartfelt tribute to the ‘hoteliers, airlines waiters and waitresses, chambermaids, and taxi drivers’ and everyone in the local tourism industry.”
“The world was definitely in Victoria that day. There were acrobats from Sichuan, dancers from Indonesia, showgirls from Brazil, tribal performers from Zimbabwe, and guys from South Africa clowning around. Sailors from India and Russia turned up to show their support, and the Indian drummers gave yet another rousing performance as a Hindu temple on wheels followed closely behind them,” Jeffrey Kong wrote.
Alain St.Ange, the CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board, said that it was pleasing to see the positive report in Asian Geographic PASSPORT magazine, which has been published as Seychelles becomes known as the “it” destination for Asia & Australasia. “This is perfect timing for Seychelles. We now realize more than ever before that we are a destination that is not only sought after by holiday makers, but that it is one of the unique destinations where diversity that exists are real assets that remain key attractions for our visitors. Our natural beauty, the safety label we enjoy as a country and a tourism destination, the all-year perfect weather we are blessed with, and the welcoming people we are, makes us be seen as the ‘it’ destination for Asia & Australasia,” Alain St.Ange said.