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11th Seychelles-China Day bazaar a success   By Patrick Joubert |05 February 2024

11th Seychelles-China  Day bazaar a success     By Patrick Joubert

Accompanied by Chinese Ambassador to Seychelles Lin Nan, VP Afif visited some of the stalls at the bazazr (Photo: Patrick Joubert)

Once again, a large crowd was at the National History Museum’s car park on Saturday to enjoy a variety of traditional Chinese foods, artifacts, cultural sounds and performances.

This was through the 11th Seychelles-China Day bazaar – a customary tradition held annually at the beginning of February as part of activities to celebrate the Seychelles-China Day and the Chinese lunar year which is celebrated ‘year of the dragon’.

The dragon is renowned as a symbol of power and success, embodying resilience and determination.

The event was a collaboration between the Chinese Embassy in Seychelles; the Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts (Snicha); the Chinese Association of Seychelles; and the Office of the Mayor of Victoria.

Vice President Ahmed Afif, Speaker of the National Assembly Roger Mancienne, Chinese Ambassador to Seychelles Lin Nan, ministers, members of the National Assembly, members of the diplomatic corps, other dignitaries joined members of the public for the opening of the bazaar.

The opening ceremony included the performance of two songs by the Seychelles National choir, a dragon and lion dance by a group of youths who underwent training in the art of lion and dragon dances, and a Tai Chi demonstration by personnel from the Confucius Institute at the University of Seychelles.  

In her opening statement, the chairperson of the Chinese Association of Seychelles, Rose-Mary Lee-Bluemner, said the bazaar serves as a platform for cultural exchange, fostering mutual understanding and goodwill between the two communities.

“It is through events like this that we can build bridges of friendship and enrich our lives with new experiences,” said Mrs Lee-Bluemner.

For her part, the permanent secretary of Snicha, Cecile Kalebi, said the bazaar is a reminder of the strong historical ties and friendship that Seychelles has with China. She commended the vibrant partnership and collaboration of many projects between Snicha and the Chinese embassy in Seychelles that have helped deep the cultural ties between the two peoples.

Ms Kalebi stated that last year, key projects were achieved, such as the dragon dance workshops organised in collaboration with the Chinese Association of Seychelles, and the training of local youths in the art of lion and dragon dances. It also included donations of books to the National Library and the involvement of 14 staff of the culture institute in short term training programmes to enhance their skills and knowledge in the culture field.

“I take this opportunity to thank the Chinese embassy for its continued support and I look forward to building on our strengths and exploring new avenues for cooperation. May the year of the dragon be filled with innovation, understanding, and collaboration and bring good fortune and blessings to each and every one of you. Happy New Year,” she stated.

Taking the podium, Ambassador Nan, in her first appearance at a Seychelles-China Day bazaar since her accreditation in December 2023, said she was happy to note the bazaar is warmly welcomed by the local community, regarded as an iconic cultural event and served as a window through which Seychellois people can better understand Chinese culture and appreciate the charm of China.

She added that it also serves as a bridge that connects the Chinese community and the local people with affinity and friendship and also a moment of reunion by the two peoples in joining hands to create a better future with stronger bonds, mutual understanding and trust. 

She noted the embassy is an integral part of the local community and will help Seychellois friends to its utmost capacity while at the same time look forward to the support and cooperation from the local people.    

“Today’s event will highlight Chinese food, traditional handicrafts and present cultural performance, I hope everyone can enjoy.  I am confident that with joint efforts, the China Day bazaar will attract more visitors in the future, and become a cultural landmark between China and Seychelles,” said Ambassador Nan who thanked everyone behind the organisation of the bazaar.

Most of the visitors at the bazaar who talked to Seychelles NATION said they were very appreciative of the event which is another unique type of celebration on the national calendar of events.

Jovette Labrosse from Port Glaud said the Chinese bazaar is one event on her calendar that she never misses.

“I always come down to events like this. This time, the bazaar is very well organised with a variety of items. I have come to taste the Asian foods and I am happy with the variety available. There is a variety for everyone to taste. I have bought some sushi, my favourite, to take home with me,” said Mrs Labrosse.   

Seychelles NATION brings you some photos of the festival taken by Patrick Joubert.


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