M/scar is located in the Southern hemisphere of the terrestrial globe. It is an Island in the Indian Ocean sea, with 400 kms, the East of the African coast separated by the Mozambique Channel sea.
It is the 4th large island of the world with a surface of 592.000 kms2, then larger than France.
It belonged to the continent of Gondwana having gathered the Southern India, the Australia and the Africa, ten millions years ago.
This explains the history of the Malagasy people :
Those coming from the South-Eastern Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia) were installed on’’ the high plateaus’’ (in the center such as the Imerina tribe) and those coming from Eastern Africa which of share these cultures, preferred to settle on the Madagascar coasts. Thus, the diversity of the cultures reign there between Malagasy who can cohabit as well this island, in spite of their destinies that God wants to establish as rule there.
It is crossed by the Tropic of Capricorn in its Southern part , on the level of the Toliara areas in the West, and Vangaindrano in the East.
Its geographical form reminds that of the left footed flat on sand.
Its length is 1.580 kms (from the Cape d’ Ambre, in North , until Faux Cap, in South), as for its width, they are 576 kms (from the Cape Saint Andre, in the West, until Fénérive-Est, in the East).
Its area is devided up 06 provinces of various extents:
- Antananarivo takes up 9,9 % of it ;
- Fianarantsoa: (17,4 %);
- Toamasina: (12,2 %);
- Mahajanga: (25,5 %);
- Antsiranana: (7,3%);
- Toliara: (27,5 %).
M/scar is populated by Malagasy, a set of 18 tribes composes it and counts 18.000.000 inhabitants. The distribution of this population in age group is :
[ 1 – 20 years ] – -> 55 % of the population
[ 21-59 years ] – -> 39 %
[ 60 and more ] – -> 5,5 %.
As for the distribution by province of this population, this same demographic figure splits up as follows :
- Antananarivo: (28,5 % of this population),
- Fianarantsoa (23,8 %),
- Toamasina (15,5 %),
- Mahajanga (10,5 %),
- Antsiranana (7,8 %),
- Toliara (13,6 %).
The capital of M/scar is Antananarivo.
The President of Malagasy people is Mr Ravalomanana Marc since December 2002.
Foreign immigrant population
– Indo-Pakistannais (tradesmen) who preferred to settle in the Hauts plateaux and the West coast of M/scar.
– The Chineses’’ Mandarin’’ (tradesmen) who also lived in the Hauts plateaux and the East coast of M/scar.
– Frenches, Germans, Englishes, Americans whom one may meet in the large cities of the districts-chiefs of Province (stateless people or residents).
– Indians of Bombay and the Chineses of Pekin, Africans, the Arabs who came recently in M/scar with their trade and their réligion.
– Comorians who lived with Malagasy for a long time…
M/scar is a Francophone country . The French is usual and current there.But the Malagasy first language is the ` ‘ Malagasy officiel’ ‘ there are also English, German and Italian which get extent in touristic communication, in universities researches and studies. Asians languages also can be learnt in the small institutions…
The Christian religion prevails as at all (51 %), but there is also theIslam (7 %) and others foreign réligions
The 18 Malagasy Tribes
– Merina and Betsileo on the Haut plateaux in Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa regions.
– Antakarana and Tsimihety on the plateau in the North of M/scar (in Antsohihy and Antsiranana regions);
– Bara, Antandroy and Mahafaly on the plateau in the Center and the South of the Island.
– Betsimisaraka on the Northern East coast until Mahanoro regions .
– Antebahoaka (in Mananjary region), Antemoro (in Manakara region), Antefasy (in Farafangana region) and Antanosy (in Taolagnaro region). All these tribes are spread out over the East coast.
– Sihanaka (in Ambatondrazaka region , Bezanozano (in Nosibean’ ala region), Tanala (in Ikongo region). These tribes prefer living in the east slope forest ((between the plateau and the East coast).
– Sakalava Maroseranana and Sakalava of Menabe (in Morondava region), Sakalava of Boina (in Mahajanga region). These tribes are in the west of M/scar ranged from South (level of Morombe) to North (level of Mahajanga).
These various ethnics groups have their own dialects. A word may have a different meaning, from one region to another, but at all, the Malagasy people succed in understanding themselves with official Malagasy langage:
“the National language or Malagasy Iombonana”…
Morals, manners and habits
Malagasy are obliging people. Their kindness and their respectfull for the strangers are remarkable. That changes from one region to another one like from one ethnos group to another one. Generally, the meaning of the term “Fihavanana” personalizes this state of kindness.
In Fihavanana, one regards you as member of the family even and one treats you according to his familial philosophy. It is not friendly respect nor fraternal but you are even treated more than the one notable of this home…
Faith and belief
The Malagasy People believes in God before the Christian religion arrival (at the end of 16th century) He names this God as “Zanahary”.That means “who have created the universe”, etymologicaly : “Zay”is the dimunitive of “Izay” = “that who” and “Nahary” = ” to create”. In short, the sens of Zanahary is thus: Creative God (of the Universe).
He also believes that the dead Kings or Notables’’souls’’ joined God in beyond. So the ancestors soul worship practice still exists through these 18 tribes for certain Malagasy. It’s there , the various customs and prohibitions sacred themes derive from : ‘’the Fady’’ ( or ‘’ Taboos’’ ) of the places, the objects, the gestures… ?0br>You will not have, for example, to swim in a river place where, formerly, a King took usually his bath. The reason, at all , is that this royal soul could still wander in this place, and then, he should be respected.
Or that you are thirsty and that you drink this sacred water, you will have not to pay it by silver money (coins) but simply to tie the greenery water of this river edge : This gesture is the equivalent of the respect with regard to the landowner. This soul is to be respected because he could threw good or bad fate to whoever dares to ridicule what had belonged to him.
Any traditional prayer must, initially evokes the Gods’ name , then those of these souls who assist him and await his all prerogatives from .Lastly, this soul takes the mediator role between God and the Human person.
With this intention, it incarnates, during a long or short moment, in a human body and gives instructions, councils to be followed (for certain recoveries ) or problems to be solved. He can tell the past developpement, the excepted circumstance present of this place and can preview the everyone future . This phenomenon is done in the ” Tromba ” or the “Bilo ” (another name allotted to this soul in the Southern part of M/scar) ritual invocation .
In other words, the God’s answer to any prayer is done by sending this soul, incarnating in the body of a human person , who acts effectively on everybody who asked for this help…
Consequently, when your guide or a person at one place warns you what that would be necessary (or not) to do, you will have to respect what he tells you…
M/scar knows an Austral summer (April – November), but there are many micro-climates according to the wideness of the Island extend :
– The East coast, exposed to the Alizés, is wet and hot with one less noticed dry season .
– The plateau and the West-North know one noticed dry season , the South is almost dry.
– The West of the Island is wet and knows one enough marked dry season even if it is exposed to.
There are, in general, two great seasons in M/scar: Rainy season (Mars – October), and dry season (April-September).
Before coming in M/scar, the anti-palludéen treatment is very advised.
+ 2h compared to Paris hour , in winter
+ 1h compared to Paris hour , in summer
C’est l’Ariary : 1 € = 2.314,24 Ar