Maestro Ilaiyaraaja, one of India’s finest music composers has been officially named as the first Seychelles Cultural Ambassador. Maestro Ilaiyaraaja was honoured during the opening of the second edition of the Seychelles-India Day celebrations during the weekend, where he graced the three-day event with his presence.
Speaking after receiving his award in the presence of the President of the Republic James Michel, Maestro Ilaiyaraaja said he is happy to be part of the celebrations of the two cultures.
“I have received many awards over the past decades as a music composer, but I consider this Cultural Ambassador Award to be the most prestigious one,” Maestro Ilaiyaraaja said.
“I will go with this title and leave my heart here in Seychelles. Long live the relationship between India and Seychelles” the Maestro.
The Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St.Ange called on Maestro Ilaiyaraaja to follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Ghandi in all the four corners of India but this time to promote Seychelles.
After presenting Maestro Ilaiyaraaja with his certificate and trophy Minister St.Ange called on the Indians and Seychellois to continue to be united.
“Let us continue to be united as we have a mission, and that is to see Seychelles and India remain united by our people,” the Minister said.
Maestro Ilaiyaraaja has been described as the king of kings in the music industry of India by chairperson of the Indian Association of Seychelles VJ Patel, who also thanked him for being in Seychelles and accepting this prestigious award.
Mr Patel also echoed words of thanks to President Michel for his presence for this celebrations of the two cultures, Minister St.Ange for his great contribution towards ensuring the second Seychelles-India Day taste the same success as the previous year.
“Let us keep the momentum of working together and making Seychelles this proud nation that it deserves to be”, Minister St.Ange said when addressing the people gathered at the International Conference Centre for this second edition of the Seychelles-India Day Celebration’s official kick-off.
Minister St.Ange thanked President Michel for gracing the ceremony, a testimony that Seychelles puts great importance on culture and to the bond that it shares with India.
“Seychelles lives as the rainbow people, and everyone who are gathered here today make our country shine as nation because you love culture and everything that is culture,” the Minister said.
“There is a need to recognise every branch of our culture and origins which make us what we are today, and celebrating the Indian culture is part of us recognising their part played in making us what we are today”, Minister St.Ange added.
Also speaking was the Indian high commissioner to Seychelles Sanjay Panda who said the event reflects the depths of the bond the two countries share.
HC Panda reiterated the words of President Michel who once said the Indian Ocean does not separate us but it is a bridge between our two people.
During the ceremony, Minister for Home Affairs and Transport of Seychelles, Joel Morgan announced that an airbus A320 will as from December 2, 2014 be flying to Mumbai, India three days a week.
Minister Morgan said this will be a great boost to the tourism industry which is our main pillar of the economy, and will give the people of India the opportunity to visit Seychelles. These Air seychelles flights between Mumbai and Seychelles will be direct non-stop flights.
A cocktail reception was hosted prior to the official ceremony, whereby guests had the chance to interact and taste a variety of Indian hors d’oeuvres.
Led by Stephen Devassy, Solid Band from South India hosted a short concert for the guests at the ceremony. Stephen Devassy known as Flying Fingers on keys is undoubtedly the fastest keyboard performer from India.