The Mauritian Minister for Arts and Culture, Mookhesswur Choonee, has been charmed by the idyllic beauty of La Digue, the third largest island of the Seychelles.
Minister Choonee’s last stop on his three-day visit was on the island of La Digue for the August 15 Feast of the Assumption. This was his first experience of the cultural tourism approach in Seychelles, and it remains the most reputed religious festival of the islands. This year, the La Digue Island Festival has once again come to life with an abundance of colorful shows supported by large crowds of party-goers.
On his arrival on La Digue, Minister Choonee, accompanied by his Seychellois counterpart Alain St.Ange, were welcomed by the Hon. Chantal Ghislain, the elected member of the National Assembly for La Digue, and by the island’s District Administrator. The La Digue Island Group, “Madilo,” played their part in welcoming Minister Choonee to La Digue with their lively performance at the jetty.
Moved by the vibrant performance of the “Madilo” sega dancer on the La Digue jetty, Minister Choonee has described La Digue as a special island in the Indian Ocean and in the Seychelles archipelago.
“La Digue island does not only have much artistic talent, but it is blessed with a diversity and density giving it the specificity of a truly special island,” Minister Choonee of Mauritius said.
The Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Alain St.Ange said that the presence of Minister Choonee on La Digue for the August 15 Feast of Assumption was the ideal opportunity to showcase an event portraying the true meaning of cultural tourism and should help build on cultural exchanges between the two islands.
“Seychelles and Mauritius are today consolidating the spirit of working together to build a partnership of cultural exchanges. We are looking at developing cultural projects where artists from Mauritius could come to Seychelles during our cultural manifestations and perform alongside our local bands and artists. We will do the same when Mauritius has their cultural events,” Minister St.Ange said.
Strongly respectful of the religious ritual of the August 15 Feast of Assumption, Minister Choonee and Minister St.Ange, together with Amb. Barry Faure, the Secretary of State in the President’s Office, attended the alfresco open air mass at the La Digue’s Grotto conducted by Catholic Bishop Denis Wiehe. Amb. Barry Faure is also the Chairman of the Seychelles Tourism Board and of the La Digue Development Board.
Minister Choonee also toured the island’s much photographed spots., such as the Anse Source d’Argent, the Grand Anse beach, and Anse Severe. He also met with members of the La Digue Development Board in a special Creole buffet dinner.
PHOTO (L to R): Mauritian Minister Mookhesswur Choonee and Minister Alain St.Ange arriving at La Digue island by the Cay Roses, the fast inter-island ferry