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Promoting Creole Traditional Wedding in the Touristic Sphere: from Intimacy to « spectacularized » Heritage

10:00, Friday 6 Nov 2015 (30 minutes)
Universidade Estadual de Campinas - Centro de Convençoes
In the Seychelles islands, a small archipelago in the Indian Ocean, all indications are that the tourist scene is taking over living cultural heritage. With the launch of the “Seychelles Brand” in 2010 (a new approach to tourism focusing more on the uniqueness of the Seychellois culture), and the merger of the Ministry of Culture with that of Tourism, we can observe a movement that promotes a re-appropriation of some cultural and musical heritage, and which aims to the preservation or safeguarding of social, cultural, and capital developments as part of special packages sold internationally through websites and travel agencies. This communication aims to demonstrate how the Creole traditional wedding in Seychelles, known locally as “Tifin,” has been re-introduced into Seychellois’s life through the development of tourism and a certain “spectacularization” of this heritage, in which the bride and groom become actors. They can experience a wedding ceremony like some Seychellois have lived in the past. Colourful wedding in an idyllic location, appealing to all the senses, everything is done to provide a show and a unique experience of the Seychelles’s cultural heritage. Part of the discussion will present the wedding music that traditionally accompanied a procession, called laserenad in creole, from the church to the site of the festivities. This practice is known to have been popular in the beginning of the 20th century, up until the years 1970-1980, but is seldom performed nowadays, except on a few occasions, for different reasons that we will explain. We will briefly analyze some cultural, social, and economic issues of these local initiatives in the passage from a supposed intimate and emotional moment of mutual commitment to an institutionalized, public, and spectacular wedding.
Université de Montréal, Canada / Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, France
PhD Candidate
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