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Minister Alexander’s message on the occasion of the International Day for Monuments and Sites

Minister Idith Alexander‘We should take pride in preserving our heritage’

“We, as a nation, must bear in mind that cultural and heritage conservation should not be the everyday concern of heritage and cultural institutions, but the concern of every one as Seychellois.  We are the rightful custodians of our heritage and we should take pride in it.”

This statement comes in a message from the Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture Idith Alexander on the occasion of the International Day for Monuments and Sites.

The full text of Minister Alexander’s message reads:

“This year the International Day for Monuments and Sites, which fell yesterday April 17, was celebrated under the theme ‘Cultural Heritage & Sustainable Tourism’ adopted by Unesco.  This theme is especially significant for Seychelles, a country whose economy relies greatly on the tourism sector.

“Cultural tourism should not be seen as a risk to our culture and cultural heritage but an opportunity for the conservation of our culture in its totality.  It is an opportunity for us to invest in the heritage and cultural sector as a whole which if done correctly and sustainably can contribute to the national economy with the possibility of becoming the 4th pillar, and also benefit directly to the local community by creating new jobs, new businesses, new facilities and services.  “Above all, if managed well, cultural tourism is a surefire way to help keep our culture alive, be it local traditions such as language, dance, music, culinary arts or our physical cultural and heritage assets such as our cultural landscapes and architectures.  We need to educate and encourage the local communities and individuals to consider the importance of cultural heritage in their lives, to promote awareness of its diversity, its vulnerability and the efforts required to protect and conserve it.  We need to understand and appreciate the value of our heritage, our culture, our way of living.  After all, when it comes to tourism, it is our unique cultural assets that set us apart from similar tropical destinations offering sun, sea and sand.  In order to share with visitors our culture, we need to first of all preserve them ensuring that tourism development does not come at the expense of sacrificing our cultural heritage.  Sustainable cultural tourism is what we have to aim for.

“We, as a nation, must bear in mind that cultural and heritage conservation should not be the everyday concern of heritage and cultural institutions, but the concern of every one as Seychellois.  We are the rightful custodians of our heritage and we should take pride in it.  Pride in preserving and protecting our assets.  Seychelles needs to celebrate the positive outcomes of a deepening partnership between sustainable tourism development and cultural heritage conservation as well as referencing the potential negative impacts.  I am therefore asking every Seychellois to see this day as an opportunity to reflect and reconnect to our culture, and our heritage.  Let us all embrace the possibilities it offers us for the future.”

Source : Seychelles NATION

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