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A few of my favorite things

November 14, 2013

Antakarana people have so many customs and little day to day habits that I LOVE!
 Here are some of my favorite Antakarana things

1- fist bump. Yes they fist bump here. And it’s freaking awesome. I’m trying a little project out where I teach kids the bump-explode. It’s starting to catch on. Yep, that’s project success for ya, fighting food insecurity one fist bump at a time.

2-pitiky. these are gooey little dried bananas that Micheal calls alien parts, but I love them. They are sweet and delicious and addicting!! Warning- if you eat too many you will be in agony!!

3-salovagna. These wrap dresses are incredible. The prints are all gorgeous and some have writing along the bottom that can range from sassy to wisdom to just nice. Examples are “I love my sister the most out of everyone” “Women don’t need men” and bizarre but real “I have lots of Eau Vive water bottles”. The prints are mostly pictures of food, which might be why I love them so much.

4-Antakarana language itself. it’s like singing. And mixed with French. Everyday is like a musical. Which is something I’ve always wanted to experience, living real life like a musical!

5-dancing. They get DOWN here. Like down down. I don’t think I’m too shabby of a dancer but I have picked up some real good moves here.

6-being loud. I fit right in, naturally. But along with the sing-song language comes calls to kids that can carry for miles. Again, there is a pattern to this that makes me so very very happy. Even when I can tell someone is in BIG trouble: “ANGELO, AV-ia BOAKA!!!!”

7-the kids. They are smiley and though they stress me out, they make me laugh more often than not. They tell me brutally honest things they probably shouldn’t like “my family hates you, but I don’t” or “you’re cooking your rice wrong” but it’s ok. We have fun.

8-family life. Family is everything to Malagasy people. It makes me feel a little bit (ok a LOT A BIT) sad that I so casually left my own family to be here.

9-sexual attitudes. It’s really not that big a deal here. Like Salt n Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex” would not have made waves here. Everyone would be like, uh duh.

10-sharing. So owning something is a big deal here. It is taboo big time to steal. But not that many things can have true owners. Food especially is seen as belonging to everyone. People don’t nickel and dime one another. It’s relieving in a lot of ways to be in a place where food falls from the trees and whoever is around gets to eat it.

11-brutal honesty. Like my neighbors asking me about whether or not I wash my vagina, and telling me I most definitely should. Yes, this was an actual 5 minute conversation. And no, I didn’t ask for a demonstration. But I maybe should have….

12-entrepreneurship. They just call this looking for money. And they only do it when they need some extra cash. Other times they are content to sit and visit and let the rice grow.

13-animals. Chameleons the color of fire hydrants. Tortoises. Mud crabs. Awesome wildlife here!

14-people. They are loud and proud and in your face. They are Antakarana and make no apologies and take no prisoners. Damn skippy.

 

 

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