The Malagasy saying “Ny tso-drano dia zava-mahery” literally means blessings are a strong thing, or blessings are powerful. It comes from the words tsoka, mitsoka ( to blow) and water (rano), and so it’s written tsodrano or tso-drano.
According to TenyMalagasy, tsodrano has several meanings:
At the beginning, tsodrano involved literally blowing water on someone. It could be for healing or for religious purpose. So, nowadays, when people organize an event and it rains unexpectedly, they say it is a tsodrano from the heaven.
The tsodrano is very important to the Malagasy because it is supposed to clear the path to any initiative in someone’s life and seen as a condition of success. A wedding that did not receive the tsodrano from the parents is believed to be cursed and will eventually have many problems, not that a blessed marriage will not have problems, but the ones who did not receive a tsodrano will get into really big troubles (Don't follow suit Kim K's ill-fated 72 day marriage and get that tsodrano).
While tsodrano is usually applied to events such as wedding and circumcision, a Malagasy who is about to take a long trip, live or study abroad would also ask for a tsodrano. Some will go to the fasan-drazana to ask for a blessing from the ancestors or the parents buried in the tomb. The importance of tsodrano lies also in the fact that it marks the absence of objection from whoever might be concerned. When family members and friends give their tsodrano to a wedding for example, it means that they approve the marriage. Another example is the politicians, especially presidential candidates, asking for tsodrano from the “ray aman-dreny”, may it be their own parents or from the wise of the country.
The tsodrano is also the name of the money that accompanies the verbal tsodrano. Commonly, when people are invited to a wedding, they will say “ndao hanatitra tsodrano’ (let’s deliver our tsodrano). So they will visit the family, in the presence of the groom or the bride, and they will give the verbal blessing along with an envelope containing a certain amount of money. The amount is normally symbolic but, in some cases, people consider the tsodrano as the wedding present so the amount may be considerably high. Some people give a tsodrano and a wedding present.
Many Malagasy artists have songs on tsodrano, but today, our personal favorite has been Mika & Davis' Tsodrano! Mazotoa!