Madagascar, the land of ancestors
The Malagasy people are a people who respect the tradition. This tradition means that one honors one’s elders and ancestors. During your stay in Madagascar, you will discover a unique, rich and attractive culture.
The art of speaking
In Madagascar, speaking in public is an art. On the island, there are even schools to train speakers. At the slightest opportunity, whether during a wedding, engagement or mourning, the eldest of the family must speak, following certain pre-established rules, while using imaginative and subtle expressions. At the beginning of his speech, the speaker must first ask the audience if he can speak, apologize since he is not the oldest and it is only after this short introduction of a few minutes he will thank everyone present at the event. In general, a speaker can take ten minutes or more if he is a great speaker.
The turning of the dead
In the highlands, in the South as in the North, the turning of the dead is a practice common to all ethnic groups. It is on this occasion that the living show that they take care of their ancestors, so that in turn they give them: health prosperity and happiness. It is also during the turn of the dead that the whole family meets and celebrates, while asking thanks to their ancestors.
Some rules and uses
In general, especially in cities, politeness is the same as in the West: thanks and systematic greetings, handshakes … But sometimes a shake of the head and a franc smile are enough and the Malagasy are generous in the matter!
As with any human relationship, obedience and respect for the elderly and senior are important. If you visit a village, it is customary to go first to greet the village chief or the president of the “Fokontany”.
Respect nature wherever you are and leave the places you have visited clean. Buying and transporting animals (turtles, chameleons, …) is strictly forbidden.
Bargaining is common practice: always negotiate a departing service and pay after.
Tipping is not obligatory but very appreciated.
Some regions have certain “fady” (forbidden) that must be respected before starting the visit. But these are very localized and rather precise: do not carry pork after such a limit, do not go past such stone, do not point your finger on such a place … We will inform you about these fady to respect en route .