Reunion celebrates African heritage throughout December

Saint Denis- the Reunion (PANA) -- The Reunion will celebrate its African heritage on 20 December to mark the end of slavery on the Indian Ocean island which is still under French rule.
This year's 153rd anniversary of the abolition of slavery includes designating December as "Africa Month" as proclaimed by a non-governmental organisation, Espace Afrique, which has organised events and debates across the island.
African heritage was recognised only 20 years ago as an official period of festivities on the island by the French and Reunion authorities with the coming into power of the late President François Mitterand.
This year Espace Afrique is honouring Mozambique from where most of the islanders of African origin came from by bringing into the island a delegation of Mozambican artists and researchers.
The association has also launched the beginning of an exchange project with Mozambique this year, aimed at tightening the historical links between the two countries.
"It is necessary that during December the Reunion should have its eyes turned towards Africa.
During our recent visit to Mozambique, we discovered that many Mozambican names are found among the people of the Reunion.
Research work is being done and stock is being taken of these very strong links", Pascale Var, president of Espace Afrique, told PANA.
Noting that official relations between the Reunion and Mozambique are almost non-existent, she added that it was therefore important to "renew with our African origins and strengthen bilateral co-operation with this country.
" Apart from lectures, Espace Afrique has also invited two musicians from Namibia to grace the occasion

06 december 2001 12:08:00




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