This was during the India Fest organised at the International Conference Centre of Seychelles (ICCS). The event, another activity to celebrate Seychelles-India Day, was attended by former President James Mancham, Vice-President Danny Faure, Indian Minister of State responsible for Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Dr Mahesh Sharma, Tourism and Culture Minister Alain St Ange, Indian high commissioner Sanjay Panda among other distinguished guests.
Mr Rahman received a certificate from Vice-President Faure and a token from the chairman of Seychelles-India Day organising committee Ramu Pillay to commemorate that special moment. On stage to witness the presentation were Sir James, Minister St Ange, Dr Sharma and Mr Panda.
The Indian composer, internationally acclaimed for his score for the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire which won him a Golden Globe and two Academy Awards – a first for an Asian – and the songs ‘Jai Ho’ and ‘O…Saya’ from its soundtrack which were internationally successful, said he is proud to be an Indian who will promote Seychelles as cultural ambassador.
“Today it is the grand finale of the four-day cultural extravaganza brought to you by the Festival of India in Seychelles – ‘India Fest 2015’ and the Seychelles-India Day. The visit of our Culture Minister, Dr Mahesh Sharma, for the occasion is a testimony to our traditional cultural linkages that we seek to nurture besides showcasing the various facets of Indian culture in this country,” he told the audience.
He pointed out that the four-day activities have been a total success where everyone has been able to take part in the different activities.
“It has been an exceptional four days of celebrations. These are the stuff dreams are made of: over 100 artists from India have enthralled Seychelles this weekend with their electrifying performances. The response the festivities evoked is simply unprecedented. Over 9,000 people or more than 10% of the country’s population were at Stad Popiler both Saturday and Sunday. This speaks in no small measure the love for Indian music and dance in Seychelles,” Mr Panda remarked.
“We in India are proud of our close bond of friendship with the Republic of Seychelles that has stood the test of time. Our cultural linkages date back to 1770 when the first Indians set foot here as the first inhabitants of Seychelles. As maritime neighbours, we have travelled together since the day in 1976 when an independent Seychelles joined the community of nations as a sovereign entity,” Minister Sharma for his part stressed.
He noted that 2015 has been a special year in our bilateral calendar.
“The visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Seychelles in March, the first prime ministerial visit from India in 34 years, and the state visit to India by President James Michel shortly thereafter, reflected not only our strategic convergence but also the importance we attach to our bilateral engagement. Our two countries are now on the threshold of a qualitative transformation in our ties across a broad spectrum,” said Minister Sharma.
He pointed out that the recent launch of direct air connectivity between Seychelles and India and the introduction of gratis visa for Indians provide the platform and fresh impetus to tourism exchanges and can enhance people-to-people contacts.
Source : Seychelles NATION