Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Hotel Updates

Bringing Island Folklore Into Focus For Tourists

Children love a good bedtime story, but a local hotel group is out to prove that Seychellois folklore can capture the imagination of anyone, especially during a vacation in the islands.

In collaboration with prominent local historians and writers, the management group for Denis Private Island, Indian Ocean Lodge and the CaranaBeach Hotel are adding a new twist to their guest experience: a series of tales based on Seychellois folklore and history, supplied nightly as part of the turn-down service.

The stories cover some of the more unique and off-beat elements of Seychelles’ history and culture, with dramatised narrations and historical perspectives coming from both oral traditions and archived records.

Considerable research and planning were required to make sure the content was not only educational, but also entertaining, Nicole St Ange, the hotel group’s PR, Branding and Communications Manager, said.

“Our folklore series aims to show a different side of Seychelles that tourists might not otherwise have a chance to learn about,” St Ange said.

Chevalier Jean-Baptiste Queau de Quincy’s exploits as governor, what happens in the Vallée de Mai during a full moon and a chilling yarn of pirate-style villainy are among the tales lined up for guests, delivered every evening by way of a message in a bottle.

“It was quite a challenge to figure out which stories we should use and how we could package them together into a consistent format,” St Ange said. “We want our guests to look forward to the next one every evening.”

Adding to the complexity of the task: some of the stories only form part of Seychelles’ oral tradition, with little to no record of them in writing, especially old fables and superstitions.

“When piecing these elements together, we often had to adopt more of a fictional approach to create an intriguing narrative, but one that would still be consistent with history,” St Ange said.

That also comprises another benefit of the project for Seychelles as a whole, according to St Ange, as the folklore series will capture in writing some elements that have never found their way into history texts.

“All of the stories and their origins belong to Seychelles, but the way we’ve packaged them is a special treat for our guests,” St Ange said. “It’s one more memory to take with them.”