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Brief Facts About Madagascar


Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa. Over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth

#1. The bard of Malagasy literature, Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo, is also Africa’s first modern poet. Born in a poor family, he grew up to master African and French surreal poetry. He was declared the National Poet of Madagascar in 1960.

#2. Hainteny, translated as “knowledge of words,” is a Malagasy oral tradition, and is quite different from anything you have heard before. It heavily uses metaphors, folktales, fables, riddles and historical poems to convey simple messages.

#3. Kabary means public discourse, but through indirect speech. It is actually a social game, where two “players” debate with each other but can never directly counter one another. For example, to counter someone’s illogical points, one might say: The dog’s bark: it isn’t might, but fright.

#4. Both men and women wear the same clothing in Madagascar, lamba. There are lambas for marriages, lambas for work, lambas for elders, lambas for children and even the dead are wrapped in a special kind of lamba before burial. Madagascar is a great place to open a lamba shop, if you ask me.

#5. Madagascar has made an understanding with its ghosts. In popular Malagasy belief, the dead look out after the living, and the living look out for the dead.

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