madakanto

Everything you want to know about Madagascar and never dared to ask

Ra…what? Ra…etc, July 29, 2012

Yesterday I read this in Dagens Nyheter :

Harinelina Rakotondramana (instead of Rakotodramanana) heter den tyngdlyftare i 48-kilosklassen från Madagaskar som har det längsta namnet i OS. Namnet har totalt 26 bokstaver.

Translation: The weight-lifter in 48-kilo category Harinelina Rakotondramanana from Madagascar has the longest name of all the participants of the Olympic Games. Total of 26 letters. DN Sport 28 July, 2012

What? That´s it? Nothing about the team, about the people? I did not know if I should cry or bite. I admit that it is quite unusual information, but who cares about the names of the Malagasy athletes. Why didn´t the journalist pick up the shortest name instead, probably from China. Why am I so upset?

I guess I felt irritated, because it reminded me of embarrassing moments in my childhood, especially at school. Every year in September, when I was back to school I would endure the teachers´ surprise or sarcasm discovering my name and the very little efforts they made to learn how to spell my name. Most of them did not even try to pronounce it and just called me by my first name. I got so used to it that I made people´s life easier responding: ”You can call me Kanto, doesn´t matter.” In fact, it did matter. My name is the essence of Me. My identity.

Do you know what people say when they meet a Malagasy person and do not want to pronounce his/her name? They say: “Hello, Mr or Mrs. Ra…etc”, Malagasy names always beginning with “Ra”… (meaning “the”, or “Andrian”… (meaning “Lord”). I can understand how difficult it is to pronounce Malagasy words, but I think you should always try and have a good laugh afterwards. It is just a matter of respect. Respect for a human being. Respect for someone´s culture.

And yes, Malagasy names are extremely long. It´s true. At least, they mean something. Check my names:

–       Kanto means Grace and Beauty

–       Hajanaina means Honor and Life

–       Zafimananintany means granddaughter of the Landowner

–       Andriantsalama (my family name) means Healthy Lord

and if I add Rickman, my Swedish name, it makes a total of 50 LETTERS ! I beat Harinelina Rakotondramanana. They should give ME the gold medal just for that.

 

Here is the best tongue twister: My ancestor´s name

King Andrianampoinimerinandriantsimitoviaminandriampajaka, shortened to Andrinampoinimerina !

 

If you want to give a Malagasy name to your child:

http://www.ebabynames.com/boards/malagasy-names-t50064.html

Malagasy names with the French translation

http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/serasera/message/631

Latest results from London 2012

http://fr.sports.yahoo.com/28072012/11/photo/28072012145158.html

 

What Kind of Drink is That? July 21, 2012

That is the kind of signs you see in Madagascar  walking in a little village like on Ile aux Nattes, because people over there have quite a special sense for French grammar.

Here, the drinks are not made of alcohol, but they are ALCOHOLIC ! I just love it!

I promise…there´s more  funny pics coming.

 

A New Hat…Again July 16, 2012

I just came back from two weeks´ vacation in Provence  and Paris. For once, it is nice to play the tourist in my homeland although I feel, with years going by, less and less French.

Coming back to the Riviera was really cool, considering that I had not been there since I was ten years old. Cannes, Nice and all the cities by the Mediterranean Sea did become a showcase for France. Everything is so neat, so clean, so luxurious. Wherever you go it smells money. My husband told me how different it looks now from the 1960´s. Cannes was just a fishermen´s haven then. It lost a lot of its former charm.

  Nice

There is one thing I did not remember from my younger years. The incredibly hot weather. And humidity. I hated it. As soon as we came out of Nice airport, I could feel the air and started sweating without moving one finger. I got so much accustomed to the Swedish summer, – sunny but dry and always with a little breeze tickling your cheeks –, that the Mediterranean climate was insufferable. I could hardly fall asleep.

Having said that I will not bother you with my temperature issues. I just wanted to show you the proof that Malagasy products are being more and more successful.

Here is the hat I had to buy in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, because the sun was too damn hot. I felt so stupid buying a hat again. I´ve got thousands of them at home. But hey, I had to cover my head.

 

The second picture was taken in Nice. Arent´they nice? It is amazing how Malagasy craftsmen have improved in making those bags. They look much nicer and last longer that the ones I used to buy. And most of all, everybody loves them!

Of course they are three or four times more expensive than in Madagascar, but at least you won´t need to go there.

And I consoled myself with the thought that I supported the Malagasy ecconomy!

 

 
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