According to history, the first inhabitants
of the Big Island originate from a mix of Malayo-Polynesian and African roots. Its location on the road to East India has also brought European and Arab cultural heritage.
This melting pot generates a genuine culture, and as islanders, Malagasy people have maintained its rich diversity.
... Respectful of its ancestral traditions.
Social and cultural life is ruled by fihavanana, a unique philosophy based on the respect of family links and tradition, altruism, tolerance and blessing from the Razana (ancestors).
Typical regional rites dictate the Malagasy way of life, from birth to death, and beyond. Nowadays, events such as famorana (circumcision), vodiondry (engagement ceremonial), and famadihana (reburial of the dead) still gather the family.
A unique cultural heritage …
Oral traditions stress on the importance of tales and legends, through which ancestral wisdom and social bonds are transmitted from generation to generation. These traditional values are reflected in kabary, a sophisticated speech mixing refinement and persuasion, punctuated with ohabolana (proverbs) and hainteny (metaphors). Although each region has its own sayings, the common language, Malagasy, easily conveys them throughout the country.
Rova and Doany are the royal domains where these verbal face-offs take place.
… being enriched in the course of time.
The opening of Madagascar to the outside world has influenced the evolution of its culture but has not altered its essence. This harmony is nowadays reflected in:
- Songs and Dances: hiragasy (popular songs), music folks….
- Cooking: romazava, ravintoto, other malagasy recipes
- Games: fanorona(1), moraingy
- Fashion and Hairstyle.