madakanto

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

Sartre or Not Sartre August 16, 2012

Filed under: Restips,Tourism — madakanto @ 4:55 pm
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Si vous avez les mains sales…prenez une douche Sartre ! Translate: If you have dirty hands…take a Sartre shower.

It is amazing how much humor Malagasy people have. Here is another exemple. Walking on Ile aux Nattes and finding this place…need a pee ? The solution is right there…The whole village was named after writers or philosophers. Coming back with more pics.

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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!

 

Three New Friends in a Day May 15, 2012

 Sometimes I feel really blessed. Maybe I have guardian angels  that lead me to the right place and the right persons.

Two months ago, I went to a seminar organized by Stockholm University at the Stockholm Resilience Center. They had invited the very famous lead singer Hanitra Rasoanaivo of the Malagasy band Tarika Be.

I had no idea who she was and that she was coming to Stockholm. I just got the information thanks to a friend, whom I thank eternally. She will certainly recognize herself. After I read the program of the seminar I thought I must be there.  I was a little worried not to find the place and to go by myself, but I thought to myself; it is usually when you are alone that you are open to new things and encounters. What a surprise it turned out to be!

 

 

I came to the Stockholm Resilience Center forty-five minutes in advance and not really knowing what to do I just sat at a table and started working with my laptop. I could not help listening to the two people sitting next to me. They were preparing their common presentation on Madagascar and they wanted to end it by saying “Misaotra be!” (“Thank you so much” in Malagasy). When I heard them I just looked at them and nodded. “Yes, it was the correct phrase”. The lady said to me with a smile: “I knew you were Malagasy!”

Let me open a parenthesis. Once you have been in Madagascar or met someone from Madagascar, it is very easy to recognize another Malagasy. They can look different, they can be dark or fair skinned, they can look Asian, Indian or African, but their eyes never lie. Malagasy eyes are very special. This is why the lady could tell. Parenthesis closed.

Hanitra Rasoanaivo came finally. I was just keeping myself busy. I did not think she would see me, but after she had greeted the organizers, she came to me and presented herself. She asked me in Malagasy if I were from Madagascar and I responded “Yes!” in my clumsy Malagasy. I told her that it would be easier to speak in French. I always feel so stupid not being able to make a conversation in a fluent Malagasy.

She was so nice and friendly that I felt like I knew her for ages.  Then the other young lady I had named joined us. Her name was Maria and she also started to ask me lots of things about me. She was very surprised to hear me speaking Swedish. Hey, nobody´s perfect. I must be the only one who can be proud of speaking several foreign languages and forgetting my own mother tongue!

As I already said I felt really lucky, because those kinds of encounters would never have happened in France. There are thousands of Malagasy immigrants living there and I would just be a number among the others. But here in Stockholm I don´t have to make any effort. People just come to me! It was the same thing when Kilema was in Stockholm. I have become like the involuntary ambassador for my homeland. Despite the distance, I have never been so closer to my origins. I moved to Sweden for I wanted to be free from all the French or Malagasy traditions, but now that I am here, I realize that those traditions are a part of me and I kind of like it.  I try to see the good in both sides.

The main topics of the seminar were Madagascar, music and sustainability. Hanitra told us about how it all began for her, about her childhood and her life as an international artist and her life back to Madagascar. She founded the Antshow Cultural center to promote Malagasy arts and artists as well as exchanges between artists from all over the world. Since she is deeply engaged in environmental issues, she uses her skills as a songwriter to address the government and the Malagasy people.

Among the speakers there were also a few Swedish scientists who had spent several months studying agriculture, demographics and the traditions of the people in the South of Madagascar.

 

 

 

When the seminar was finished the party started and I am so glad I stayed, because I made new acquaintances. The first person I met was a Malagasy man who had come too late and missed the seminar. He already knew Hanitra, so he went to her greeted her. Then he saw me and asked me, as it often happens when a Malagasy meets another Malagasy, if I came from Madagascar. Yes, I did! His name was Sylvain and after a few minutes talking we found out that we had a common friend and that I had met his wife on another occasion. It´s a small world.

Hanitra, Maria the woman I named before  and a “tall and white girl with white hair”  joined the conversation. I had so much fun. Maria and Anna the tall told us about the way the ethnic group Antandroy  (see farther south on the map below) communicated. Very peculiar and so far away from the Merina, the ethnic group whom I belong to.

 

from Lexique population (pdf document)

Let me explain. When I write “tall and white girl with white hair” I do not mean to insult the girl in question, but it is just, as I was told, the way the Antandroy people called her for real when she lived among them. For them, it was so exotic and so new to meet such a woman. But, Anna told us that they gradually got accustomed to her.

I have never had so much fun that day talking with people I barely knew and I felt so happy.

Before I left we exchanged our visit cards. Anna wants to speak Malagasy again. And I hope I will get to know Hanitra better next time she comes to Stockholm.

To be followed…

 

 

More information:

http://www.stockholmresilience.org/5.1fc8315a135cb03b559e15.html

Stockholm Resilience Center: http://www.stockholmresilience.org/

Tarika Be my space: http://www.myspace.com/tarikab

Antshow Madagascar: http://www.facebook.com/antshow.madagascar

 

About Hanitra Rasoanaivo:

http://worldmusiccentral.org/artists/artist_page.php?id=1091

Tarika’s Hanitra Rasoanaivo talks with Michal Shapiro about music, politics and life in Madagascar: http://www.rootsworld.com/rw/feature/hanitra99.html

Tarika Be – Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarika_%28musical_group%29

Tarika on Afrisson: http://www.afrisson.com/Tarika-842.html

Tarika- BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/26f6d5b4-137f-451d-aadc-74ae204dc5b3

 

March 9, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter — madakanto @ 10:11 pm

Great pictures and post on the Ankarana National Park

 

Message from Kilema March 8, 2012

Filed under: Nyheter — madakanto @ 4:13 pm
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Today. I will just make a little pause from writing and give some information about singer Kilema. You have already seen the videos, but here comes the text.

Kilema is a master of  traditional instruments such as the Marovany, the Valiha, the Kabosy  and the Katsá and carries the magical and rhythmic soul of Madagascar wherever he go

His music is based on the culture of his southern roots in the quarter of Amborogony-Toliara  where he was born. Kilema also gives didactic concerts for children and teenagers from 6 ,whose aim is to discover  Malagasy culture, taking them to one-hour musical journey. ( in English, Spanish or French languages.)

KILEMA AND HIS QUARTET ALREADY PERFORMED AT:Globaltica (Poland); Doo Bee Fes.(Japan) ; Rainforest World Music Festival(Malaysia) ; Austronasian World Cultures(Taiwan), Central Park Zoo, Joe´s Pub (New York), Journées des 5 Continents(Switzerland), Small Nations Festival(Wales,UK), Caisa Cultural Center (Finlandia), Emmas &Dromos Festival ( Sardinia/Italia), Parc de La Vilette (Paris), Etnosul(Portugal), Kulturnatten , Musik i Syd ,Musikaliska (Sweden), Maailmamuusika Tartu(Estonia), Getxo Folk, Etnosur (Spain where he now resides), etc…

DISCOGRAPHIE:Ka Malisa (Iris Musique/Harmonia Mundi 1999); Lavi-Tany( Ventilador Music 2003); Mena(Snail Records/Coast to Coast 2009)

VIDEOS:

Talike &Kilema project) NEW: http://www.linktv.org/worldmusic/blog/keyword/malagasy_music

Kilema on My Space: www.myspace.com/kilema2


 

 
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