Seychelles - People & Culture
• Nationality: Noun and adjective - Seychellois
• Population (2002 est.): 80,098
• Annual growth rate (1999): 1.7%
• Ethnic groups: Creole (European, Asian, and African)
• Religions: Catholic 86.6%, Anglican Church 6.8%, other Christians 2.5%, other 4.1%
• Languages: Official languages are Creole, English, and French
• Education: Public schools and private schools, compulsory through grade 10. Literacy (1994)--87.5%
• Health: Free government health services for all people. Life expectancy--male 65.48 yrs, female 73.63 yrs. Infant mortality rate--16.86/1000
• Work force: 32,382 with 3,550 unemployed. Industries include tourism, fishing, manufacturing, and construction
Most Seychellois are descendants of early French settlers and the African slaves brought to the Seychelles in the 19th century by the British, who freed them from slave ships on the East African coast. Indians and Chinese (1.1% of the population) account for the other permanent inhabitants.
About 90% of the Seychellois people live on Mahe Island. Most others live on Praslin and La Digue, with the remaining smaller islands either sparsely populated or uninhabited.
Seychelles culture is a mixture of French and African (Creole) influences. There are three types of music with a dance, commonly associated with Seychelles: the moutia, a style originating with the slaves on Seychelles, sega, with strong African influences, and contredanse - a style of country song and dance with roots in France and England.
The most celebrated modern artist is Micheal Adams, considered to be the 'Gauguin of the Seychelles' but there are several other very well known painters residing here: George Camille, Leon Radegonde, Gerard Devoud and Marc Duc.
Held during a week in late October, the Creole Festival is the biggest and most important cultural event in the Seychelles. It is a way to celebrate the creole culture through music, dance, arts and cuisine.
Creole is the native language of 94% of the people, however, English and French are commonly used.