Seychelles Information - Page 2
The Portuguese visited the Seychelles Archipelago in the early sixteenth century. French colonists arrived at the end of the 1760s.
Over the years, Britain and France struggled for control of the Archipelago. In 1814 the islands of Seychelles became officially British (Treaty of Paris) and were administered from [British] Mauritius.
Seychelles became a separate British Colony in 1903. Independence was not achieved until over seventy years later. From 1977 until 2004 the Republic was led by France René.
The Republic of Seychelles maintained links with the United Kingdom through membership of the Commonwealth.
Following independence the development of tourism greatly enhanced the Republic's economic growth. However, in 2008 the Gross Domestic Product fell more than one percent due to a decline in the number of tourists, but recovered in 2009 and 2010 as tourism increased.
The government has been keen to reduce dependence on tourism and diversify into farming, fishing and small-scale manufacturing.
Agricultural products are cinnamon, vanilla, bananas, coconuts, cassava and sweet potatoes. Chickens are reared.
Industries include coir rope (coconut fibre), boat building, furniture, printing, food processing and beverages. Tuna fishing is an important industry. (2011)
Crafts in the Seychelles include woven baskets, wooden products, pottery and paintings. Textiles and jewellery are also produced.
Music and dance is an important part of the culture of the Seychelles. Instruments played are drums and stringed instruments including the violin and guitar. Traditional dances derived from the African heritage of the Seychellois are the mutia and the sega. Contredance and kamtole are influenced by dances from France and the United Kingdom respectively.
Sports played in the Seychelles include cricket, basketball, football, rugby and volleyball. Athletes also take part in athletic events around the world.
The Seychelles is famous for dive sites. Other water sports are swimming, snorkelling and surfing. Sailing is popular in the archipelago. The Seychelles is also known for big game fishing and visitors can fish for barracuda, dorado, marlin, sailfish, tuna and shark.
Christmas, Easter and religious holidays are celebrated. Other holidays include New Year's Day - 1 January, National Day - 18 June and Independence Day - 29 June (1976 from the UK)
News from the Republic of Seychelles is available from Newslink.
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