A new initiative to share the Seychellois culture through music, cuisine and other forms of art with other islands in the Indian Ocean region starts this weekend.
Called 'Sesel i la' (Seychelles is here), the tour is being organised by the newly created Creative Industries and National Events Agency (CINEA).
Speaking to reporters earlier this week, CINEA's Chief Executive Galen Bresson said, "We want our brothers and sisters from the other islands who have not have the chance to visit our islands to sample our culture."
"We want this initiative to bridge the gap between our different nations and bring us closer, something similar to the Indian Ocean Island Games which does that through sports," Bresson said.
The 'Sesel i la' tour, which runs May 27 to June 3, has a 40-member delegation and includes well known Seychellois artists such as Joseph Sinon, Elijah, Jakim, Chicco, Mercenary, Ion Kid, and Reggie backed by the Warrior band. They will be performing in Mauritius and Rodrigues.
The artists will participate in open air shows as well as in a three-hour live show on Mauritian radio. A Seychellois chef will also be part of the delegation and will take part in cooking shows on the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) television.
"If this first tour is a success we will be making it an annual event and we hope that we can bring with us participants from other performing arts such as dancers, painters, sculptors, designers as well as people from the arts and crafts sector," said Bresson.
The chief executive said that participants of the tour are catering for their own expenses while CINEA will cover the logistics costs in Mauritius.
Apart from Seychelles, the Indian Ocean region includes the Maldives, Madagascar, the Comoros, Mauritius and Reunion - a French department.
Currently there are two established events for the region -- the Indian Ocean Islands Games (IOIG) promoting sports and the Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de l'Ocean Indien - for exchanges between the youths.