Madagascar has many meanings to each of us that we hold dear to our hearts. We asked members of our MadaLiving community to tell us what Madagascar means to them.
In today's MadaLiving snapshot, Doumie, a rising artist vividly portrays how much Madagascar means to her.
Home. Where I feel warm, where I can feel loved, where I want to give, where I want to learn, where I want to love, where I feel that I am human, where I feel that there is something more than just “money”. I have been away for about ten years now, and it still feels like I left my “home” yesterday. The truth is my heart is still there, and my mind has led me to the United States, in order to grow, not so much spiritually, but financially and intellectually.
It is my “Tanindrazana”, the home of my ancestors and the home of my culture, of what makes “Doumie” who she is today. I cherish every single superstitious belief that my grandmother has lended my ears.
I love talking about her, Bebe Soa, because she is one of the people I look up to. Her house was a typical Malagasy grandmother’s, where you can be fed and where you can feel that you are safe. I miss that feeling. I miss being held by my grams! I really do! I miss kissing my parents goodbye everytime I would leave the house for school. “The sioka'' when we arrive at a friend’s doorstep or gate, in order to let them know we are outside. The sound of the “akoholahy”, every morning, that wakes us up, no alarm needed.
“Fihavanana” is one of the most cherished aspects of our culture, that I still, to this day, hold close to my heart. I want to do good, and I do not only want to do good for me, but also for my family. We have always been taught to look after our family, our friends, and our closed ones. We are not selfish, and that is something that I miss so much as well.
I adore our Malagasy culture! It is so rich and it is also something that I would never be able to find anywhere else: its simplicity and its rawness are two components of the culture that make it so authentic. Our people are beautiful! Our people are so loving! Our people are so caring!
I love how our Malagasy people can go through hardship, but we are always so cheerful, and will always find ways to relax and to take it easy such as “maskita”, “vazovazo”, etc…I personally picked up my music skills from the “vazovazo” which is simply a jam session every Sunday, in the case of my family. I learned how to play the guitar, the djembe, and how to sing during these sessions with my parents and their friends. This was a form of leisure for us, even if we did not always have much.
Madagascar is home. It is where my heart will forever live.
-Doumie aka Ny Domohina Andrianavalona