The cosmopolitan Seychellois are a colourful blend of peoples of different races, cultures and religions. Today, the 87,122 strong Seychellois population continues to reflect its multi-ethnic roots. Traditionally, the islands have attracted a broad diversity of peoples from the four corners of the earth that has included freed slaves, European settlers, political exiles, adventurers, traders of Arab and Persian origin as well as Chinese and Indians. Practically every nation on earth has been represented in this melting pot of cultures, each one contributing its special influence to today's vibrant yet tranquil society.
Local artists continue to exhibit diverse styles that echo the multi-ethnic backdrop of the islands and bear testament to the various influences which have come to bear. Creole music and dance have their roots in African, Malagasy and European cultures with rhythms traditionally accompanied by simple drums and string instruments which, today, include such recent imports as the violin and guitar.
Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most expenditures and looking after the interests of the children. Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.
The traditional moutya is an erotic dance derived from the days of slavery and still features today, together with the sega with its colourful lyrics; the kanmtole, reminiscent of a country reel, and the Kontredanse, an import from the French court.
The official languages are Seychelles Creole, French, and English. Seychelles Creole has a strong resemblance to the Creoles of Mauritius and Reunion and those of the Caribbean. Most people speak Creole at home.
Most Seychellois are Christians: 82.3% are Roman Catholic, 6.4% are Anglican and 4.5% are of other Christian denominations. There are small minorities who practice Hinduism (2.1%) and Islam (1.1%). Other non-Christian faiths account for 1.5% of the population while a further 2.1% were non-religious or did not specify a religion.