This weekend will see the launch of the annual Creole Festival in the Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
The festival is a celebration and manifestation of the island nation’s rich and diverse culture and heritage. It is the time where the uniqueness, customs and traditions of the Seychellois are relived.
In yesteryears, our elders, mostly ladies, used flowers as a form of communication – a way to pass on a secret little message. As part of the celebration, SNA takes a look at seven flowers and the messages they relayed.
The antigone flower, commonly known as the Mexican creeper, is a common sight on the islands. It is a vine with pink or white flowers. For Seychellois, the flower sends one message: “Your photo is engraved in my heart!”
The begonias are native to moist subtropical and tropical climates. Let your loved one know that they are in your thoughts as with a begonia you are saying, “I think of you day and night.”
The bud of a white rose
There are over three hundred species of roses. Commonly associated with love, especially the red rose. The bud of a white rose means “a heart that is starting to love.”
A native plant of Asia, roses are associated with love and passion and popularized on February 14 – Valentine’s Day. The red rose is calling to a lover “my heart aches with love!”
Found on the islands and in different colours, the vine species grow anywhere from 1 to 12 m. The bougainvillea loves the sun. The sunnier it is, the more beautiful it blossoms. Bougainvillea has one message: “Come into my arms but beware of my thorns!”
Grown as an ornamental tree and in English, it is given the name royal poinciana or flamboyant. It is also one of several trees known as “flame tree. In Seychelles, it is a common saying: “You know December is approaching as the flamboyant are blooming.” Well, the real message of the vivid red flower is “the only girl I am going to marry.”
Also known as hydrangea, the species is a native of southern and eastern Asia. Mauve in colour, one would get the impression that hortentia is all about mourning. But on contrary “the more I see you, the more I love you!” is the message of hortentia.