VAs citizens in China prepare to welcome their New Year and celebrate the spring festival on January 25, the Chinese community in Seychelles is gearing for the 7th edition of the Seychelles-China day.
This year the celebrations will include a dance performance by the Gansu Dance Troupe as well as a Chinese bazaar.
The celebrations on Friday, January 17 and Saturday, January 18 are a joint partnership between the Chinese Embassy, the Chinese Association, and the Creative Industries and National Events Agency.
"The Seychelles-China Day has become a significant platform for people-to-people and cultural exchanges between our two countries, and effectively strengthened our mutual understanding and friendship," said the Chinese ambassador, Guo Wei.
The ambassador spoke at a recent press conference at the International Conference Centre (ICCS), where it was announced that the official opening of the event will be held on Friday evening.
"On Saturday, January 18 the Gansu Dance Troupe will give a cultural performance at the ICCS auditorium at 3 pm. For this event, tickets are free and as the ICCS can hold only 585 people, tickets will be given on a first-come, first-served basis," explained Galen Bresson, the chief executive of the agency.
The Gansu Dance Troupe was founded in 1961. It hails from the Gansu province, located in the northwest of China and well known as the home of grottoes art, cultural heritage sites, and magnificent natural scenery.
Gansu is also the key area of the ancient Silk Road, which was the most important trading hub connecting China and western countries.
After the public show, there will be the Chinese bazaar which will be held at the ICCS car park. The bazaar is a joint effort of the Chinese community in Seychelles and will offer locals culinary delights as well as other artifacts from mainland China.
"We pride ourselves as a nation in having all four cultures - African, European, Indian and Chinese - intermingling to bring about our unique identity. On Saturday, January 18, we shall celebrate the fusion of one of the essential ingredients of this Seychellois melting pot, more specifically the Chinese culture," explained Robert Chong Seng from the Chinese Association.
He added that "in order to make this experience enjoyable, again this year we changed the timing of the bazaar from lunchtime to an evening and night market."
Chong Seng is calling on everyone to come and share a magical food experience with Seychelles' Chinese, a community of around 2,000 in Seychelles - 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
The ambassador added that "the opening of the China Day indicates the up-coming Chinese Spring Festival, which is the grandest festival in China. During the Spring Festival, reunion is the most important theme just like what Christmas means to Seychelles people."
Wei explained that according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the year 2020 is the Year of the rat, which ranks first on the Chinese zodiac and represents a new beginning. Small but dynamic, the rat symbolises cleverness, wisdom and strong vitality.
"On the occasion of the New Year, I hope you can experience the happiness and joy of the Chinese Spring Festival and the cultural interactions between China and Seychelles," concluded the ambassador.