Malagasy Lifestyle Mora Mora

Malagasy lifestyle is deeply rooted in tradition, culture, and community. The easygoing attitude which is known as “moramora”, or easy-does-it way of life, affects their decision-making process and way of thinking. Let’s explore some aspects of daily life and social customs in Madagascar:

  1. Traditional Decision-Making:
    • In rural areas, decisions are often made by a council of male elders. They play a significant role in shaping community life and resolving disputes within the family and in the community.
    • However, youth migration from villages to cities is common due to limited economic opportunities in rural areas. This can be related to education and job seeking.
  2. Entertainment and Ceremonies:
    • Traditional ceremonies, traveling orators, and musicians provide entertainment in rural communities. The “hira gasy” played an important role in counseling the youths as the song lyrics convey piercing messages to correct any ill-behaviors. However, they have become almost unheard of in our modern society.
    • Urban areas have diverse forms of entertainment, including video clubs that rent and project films. Action movies are particularly popular in all age groups.
  3. Attire:
    • Traditional attire varies based on location and socioeconomic status.
    • Rural and older city residents often wear traditional clothing: large shirts known as “malabary” and shorts for men, and dresses with gathered skirts for women.
    • Coastal regions feature wrapped skirts with tops, often accompanied by a rectangular shawl called a lamba for ceremonial occasions. These have different callings, among which is “lambahoany“.
    • Middle-class individuals often wear Western dress, while denim pants and dresses (jeans) are popular among city youth.
  4. Customs and Ancestral Respect:
    • Most Malagasy continue to observe traditional customs, especially those related to family tombs and ancestor reverence.
    • The “famadihana” ceremony or exhumation involves removing ancestors’ bones from the tomb, wrapping them in new “lamba” or shroud, and delivering a traditional speech
    • (“kabary”) to thank the attendants.
    • Kabary are rhyming speeches wich lots of figurative words. They are also used at weddings, business openings, and other occasions.
  5. Cultural Blending and Festivals:
    • Madagascar encourages blending old and new cultural expressions.
    • Seasonal festivals like the Festival of Rice and the Festival of the Trees celebrate Malagasy heritage. The “santabary” is to celebrate the first rice harvest.
    • Some of the observed holidays include Easter, Christmas, Independence Day (June 26), and the Anniversary of the Republic (December 30).
  6. Arts and Expression:
    • Malagasy arts encompass music, dance, and storytelling.
    • Cultural associations based on members’ home districts promote regional identity.
    • The government supports cultural preservation and creativity.

In conclusion, Malagasy culture is rich, diverse, and deeply connected to its past. Whether in rural villages or bustling cities, traditions and customs continue to shape daily life in Madagascar.



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