The citizens who live in the Seychelles Islands are called the Seychellois. There are a number of ethnic races represented in the Seychelles, most of which come from Africa. There are also significant numbers of Arabs, Indians, French, and Chinese. You will also see Polynesian, Indian, and Arcadian influences. The Seychellois are a beautiful combination of British, Chinese, French, Indian, and African blood. The Seychellois live simple lives in an earthly paradise where the tourism trade is closely regulated to preserve the abundant natural charms of the islands. Languages spoken in the Seychelles include Creole, French, and English.
Upon meeting someone in the Seychelles, it is customary to shake hands. The Seychellois are friendly and often invite newcomers to their houses. When visiting someone's home in the Seychelles, it is the custom to bring a small gift. Because the Seychelles consist of over 100 islands and only has a population of around 83,000, it has the distinction of being the least crowded country in the world. Population growth in the Seychelles is low, but the average age is quite young. Half the population is under 25. Nearly 70% of the inhabitants of the Seychelles live on Mahe, which is the largest island. Life expectancy in the Seychelles is about 72 years.
Though the Seychellois population is made up of many different ethnic groups, the people get along in harmony and are proud of their republic. The life on the Seychelles is casual, peaceful, and spiritual. Some 90% of Seychellois are Catholic. Other religions include Protestant Christians, Muslims, and Hindu. Most people are quite friendly and are glad to have any reason to have a party.
Music is an important part of the Seychellois culture. The music is influenced by Polynesian, Arcadian, and Indian music. The two main types of folk music in the Seychelles are the Montea and the Contombley, based on music, and drums respectively. Singing and dancing are important facets of life here. After all, if you lived in this earthly paradise, wouldn't you feel like singing and dancing? Sports are big in the Seychelles, too. Football, boxing, and volleyball are popular sports.
Seychelles cuisine is a Creole that is made up of the very best of the foods of India, Britain, China, France, Africa, and America. The staple foods are rice and fish, but creative combinations of spices along with the use of coconut milk and breadfruit make a huge variety of different tastes. Locally, cari bernique, daube (sweet sauce), rougaille, and carii coco (a meat curry with cream of coconut), salade de palmiste et bredes are prominent dishes. Spinach, along with many other fruits and vegetables grow in this warm climate, including guava, aubergine, lychee, melon, and calabashes.
One of the most famous drinks is Seybrew German lager. It is actually made on a nearby island and not in Germany. Many types of tea are available. Most restaurants in the Seychelles are "sit down" restaurants, where waiter service is the norm. Usually, tips run about 5% to 10% of the bill.
Though there is no culture indigenous to the Seychelles, many influences from African origins have remained for centuries now. The government created a National School of Music and a National Cultural Troupe to encourage growth and tradition. You can partake of the wonderful Seychellois culture simply by visiting, dining, dancing, and having a great time.
You will find in the Seychelles numerous shops selling souvenirs and gifts such as local hand crafts, ornaments, and jewelry, many of which are prepared with snail shells. As nightlife goes, the Seychelles are rather quiet, though there are some local music venues and dance performances. Also, some of the larger hotels hold dinner dances and barbecues. In most hotels, men are asked to wear long trousers rather than shorts, but that is about as "formal" as life gets in the Seychelles.
French and African influences are very noticeable in the Seychelles. There are three kinds of music that are associated with the local culture: the sega, which has strong African influence, moutia, a style that originated in slaves, and contredanse, a style of music and dance with French and British origins. Of the contemporary artists, Adams Michael is thought of as the "Gaugin of the Seychelles." There are also many other artists who live in the Seychelles, including Leon Radegonde, Gerard Devoud, Marc Duc, and George Camille.
Every October a Creole Festival is held. It is the biggest cultural event in the island chain. During this festival, the Seychellois celebrate the creole culture with music, art, great food, and dance. Though almost 100% of the Seychellois speak Creole, French and English are also widely used.
Regardless of which island you stay on in the Seychelles, you are sure to be warmly welcomed and greeted by the local people. The Seychellois are friendly, gracious, and warm. Only a couple of centuries ago, these islands were uninhabited, except as ports for pirates. But today, the culture is a mixture of African, Asian, and European. English, French, and Creole are all spoken in the Seychelles, and the natural disposition is relaxed to enjoy the great beauty of the islands. The Seychellois are a friendly people who are glad to welcome you to their republic. You may not want to leave once you spend a little time in this heaven on earth.