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Victoria, The Seychelles (CNN) -- The Seychelles is perhaps best known as a vacation destination; with its pristine blue waters and picture-perfect beaches, it's no wonder the smattering of islands (155 in total) off the coast of Madagascar has for generations wooed Hollywood's top brass.
As it happens, there's more to the island nation than just sun and sea. For four years, it has also played host to the Seychelles International Carnival, an international event which even in its infancy manages to attract over 1,500 participants from across the globe.
The carnival attracts a truly international crowd, with 26 out of the 55 parade floats run by foreign countries. This year, the event attracted Chinese acrobats, Himalayan musicians, gold-plated Indonesian spectators and one American country singer.
"It's called Carnival International, which means the world is coming together," says Alain St. Ainge, the country's minister of tourism and culture.
"Even the United Nations, when they meet, you find politics overtakes the important things of listening to each other. In the Seychelles, people come here and we forget our politics, we forget our religion, forget the color of skin."