Facts about Madagascar
Madagascar as a country got her independence on 26th June after the French colonialists left their country. Many people do not the exact facts about Madagascar as a country much less her history. Before you plan your trip to the Madagascan Island, it is best to know more about the country that you are trying to visit and here are a few things that make the Island a unique destination.
The death penalty
Madagascar had a death penalty for many years and it was handed down to all those that were found guilty and fit for the death penalty but in 2015, the country joined other countries all across the world and abolished the death penalty.
Sports in Madagascar
Whereas other countries have football or netball as their main sport, Madagascar has stuck to Moraingy as her major sport. The sport involves fighting between two people and the winner gets a surprise and it is where they use bare knuckles during the fights. It is extremely popular all across the Madagascan Island.
Wealth in Madagascar
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the whole world. Almost half her population is living in abject poverty and are illiterate making it hard for them to get a decent job to sustain themselves. Most of the locals in Madagascar are living off farming and this is how they sustain themselves and their families.
The traditional wear
When it comes to clothes both the women and men put on the same thing. The traditional wear for the Madagascar people is known as the Lamba and it is put on by everyone irrelevant of the sex. The Lamba comes in different sizes and colors and they are rectangular and wrapped around the body and the length of the cloth depends on the height of someone.
The taboos in the country
Madagascar has a lot of cultural taboos that you need to be aware of before you travel to the country and these are locally known as the Fadys. The tour guides who will be with you will try as much as possible to tell you the different don’ts so that you do not end up angering the locals by doing something that is considered not appropriate. Some of the taboos include:
- You can never wear red to a funeral but you can wear it when going for sacrifices.
- You can never eat the Angonoka tortoise because it is considered bad luck by the locals.
And when you commit a fady, a sacrifice is supposed to be carried out so that you are cleansed of all the bad omens that might happen to you if you don’t go for cleansing.
The wildlife in Madagascar
The wildlife in Madagascar is extremely friendly because you will not find any predators lounging around on the island. The only thing that would cause harm are the Nile crocodiles but these have been hunted to almost extinction because their skin is on a high demand when it comes to the Madagascan market. The rest are not so lethal and you will not find any dangerous snakes, spiders or anything that will scare you making it an extremely safe place for one to have a nature walk.
The road trips to Madagascar
Madagascar has a lot of roads but they are all in an extremely poor condition making it hard to travel on them. Your time in the country will be spent driving from one place to another even when the distance between the two places is short.
A visit to the Madagascar will teach you how to be patient and keep time. Due to the poor nature of the roads you will need to plan accordingly so that you get to your destinations on time. If you are to be at your destination at 9:00 am then you need to leave at 7:00 am and give yourself an allowance of an hour or else you might be late and You need to also be patient with the drivers as they cannot over speed when it comes to driving due to the nature of the roads.
The plants in Madagascar
Most of the plants that are found on the island are used as herbs. Madagascar has over 12000 plant species that have been recorded and all these are used to treat the different ailments of the locals like Leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and many more others.
Half the population of locals cannot access medical care due to the poverty that they face and that is why they end up using the plants to treat all their ailments.
World heritages in Madagascar
Madagascar has only three historical UNESCO heritages that have been recognized worldwide. These heritages include the Tsingy de Bemaraha that is located in the Eastern part of the country, the Royal hill of Ambohimanga and the Atsinananana that is filled with rain forests. These are great sites to visit especially if you are a fun of history.
Chameleons in Madagascar
Madagascar is a home to more than half the world’s population of chameleons. There is a recorded number of 150 chameleon species in the whole world but note that almost 59 chameleons are endemic to the Madagascan Island. When you visit the country you will be able to see the different chameleon species that you will not find anywhere else in the world.
The worship of ancestors in Madagascar
The Madagascan people always exhume their dead ancestors every after seven or nine years in a ceremony that is celebrated all over the Island by everyone. On this day many relatives are exhumed and taken care of by their living relatives by wrapping them in new fine clothes, changing everything that they were buried with and then food is prepared and eaten with the dead. And before the day ends music is put and they dance with their dead before they are reburied and this is done to show respect to them.
The Mad queen of Madagascar
The last queen of Madagascar was known as Queen Ranavalona III and she considered to be mad queen due to the things that she did in the country before the French arrived. Her reign was in the 18th century and she was extremely bad when it came to killing Christians and other people in the country.
During her reign, many people were killed and the population of the country greatly reduced because when was a fan of using poison to find out whether they were guilty. You were supposed to take the poison and if you died you were found guilty and if you survived you were innocent and the local people also believed that the poison was the final say in proving one guilty.
It was a one stop center for pirates
Many years ago the island did not have any other living persons on it and was devoid of human life but due to its strategic location, it became a big haven for most pirates. This mostly happened during the 17th century and you would find many pirates resting on the Island before continuing on their journey.
The diverse culture on the Island
The island has a number of people who have come from the different parts of the world. They settled on the Island due to the trade that was being carried out on the East African coast and many of the traders that carried out the trade settled here and intermarried leading to the unique ethnic groups in the country.
You will find Asians, Arabs and Africans all settled in the country and living harmoniously together. Note that the people who first settled on the island were not originally Africans but came from other countries like Pakistan, France, Comoros and Pakistan. These have brought about the different unique cultures in the country.
The Madagascan National flag
Madagascar’s National flag is a mixture of different colors and of which these colors all have a meaning attached to them. The colors of the flag are red, white and green and they stand for:
- Red and white
The red and white that is on the Madagascan flag represents the origin of the Indonesians who are living in the country but they were also the original colors of the flag that was used by the Merina kingdom.
The green on the flag represents the common people of Madagascar who are the Hova people who fought fiercely for the country’s independence and it also shows hope for everyone in the country.
The Eighth continent
Madagascar is known as the eight continent by many people all over the world because of its isolation from the rest of the continents. It was originally part of the African continent but split from it millions of years from it due to earth warping and settled in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The split caused many plants and animals to shift with it and that is why they cannot be found anywhere else in the world.