"the land of perpetual summer"
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On today's edition of #56DaysofAfrica, we will be highlighting Seychelles.
Seychelles is one of the world’s smallest countries. It is made up of 115 islands, and is referred to as an archipelago in the Indian Ocean.
The name "Seychelles" derives from the 1756 French expedition that led to the annexation of the islands. The commander of the expedition named the islands Séchelles after the controller of finance, Vicomte Moreau des Séchelles. In 1810, Britain gained control of the islands in as a consequence of the Treaty of Paris.
In 1970 Seychelles obtained a new constitution, universal adult suffrage, and a governing council with an elected majority. Self-government was granted in 1975 and independence in 1976. In 1975 a coalition government was formed with James R. Mancham as president and France-Albert René as prime minister. In 1977, Seychelles People’s United Party supporters overthrew Mancham and René was sworn in as president and formed a new government.
After René's administration, Seychelles has had two sitting presidents, the current head of state is Danny Faure.
For the Culture
The capital of the Seychelles, Victoria is located on the island of Mahe. It is the smallest capital in the world and can be easily explored on foot in less than a day. The official languages are English, French and Creole. Creole, also called Seselwa, is the mother tongue of most Seychellois.
To highlight their culture and lingua franca, Seychellois hosts an annual Creole Festival. It is seen as one of the most important celebrations on the Seychelles calendar. It is a cultural event, spanning over a few days where locals band together to celebrate the creole heritage and culture. The Creole Festival is a symbolic tribute to the colourful culture, customs, traditions and practices of the Creole lifestyle of the Seychellois people.
Dance plays an important role in Seychellois society. Both the séga and the moutya are cultural dances.
Seychellois cuisine represents its diverse Creole culture. Being an island country, the staple food consists of a number of fish and shellfish dishes and chilli.
Besides seafood, breadfruit and coconut are also a tradition in many of the Seychellois dishes.The Creole people consume the versatile fruit in various forms, one of which is the Breadfruit chips.
Another way breadfruit is incorporated their cuisine is with the popular ladob dish.
Ladob is a Seychellois dish based on plantains, breadfruit, and cassava. It can be prepared in sweet or savory versions. The dessert version is prepared by boiling plantains or cassava in coconut milk, along with nutmeg, vanilla, and sugar as flavorings. The savory version uses salted fish boiled in coconut milk with plantains, cassava, nutmeg, and salt.
Another popular Seychellois dish is Kari koko zourit, which is a variety of Seychellois curry featuring octopus cooked in coconut milk. A typical dish, Katkat is prepared with green or unripened cooking bananas or plantain, preferably the bannann sen zak which is the most sought after local plantain banana. It is then cooked over time in coconut milk, along with sugar and vanilla to enhance the taste.
Seychelles is a one of the top holiday destinations for many people from across the world. It boasts of some of the most beautiful beaches and has some of the rarest endemic birds, including the bare-legged Scops owl.
The islands is also home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Aldabra Atoll and Vallée de Mai. The Vallée de Mai is protected from the hands of visitors and tourists due to its ancient reputation. Found in the park are endemic plants such as the Coco De Mer (known as the sea coconut or double coconut), as well as an array of unique wildlife and other flora. Due to the density of unique and rare life that lives within the forest, it is highly protected.
Aldabra Atoll is the second-largest atoll in the world, visitors must receive permission from the Seychelles Islands Foundation to visit. it. It is one of the very few areas among the islands that is populated with such a diversity of wildlife, including the largest population of Giant Tortoises in the world.
With its beautiful scenic beaches and creole culture, the land of perpetual summer surely is a sight to see and learn from. During the course of the week, we cannot wait to continue to share more information about Seychelles with you all in the coming days.