P eople of sailors settled on a very large island, The Malagasy have kept on the mainland the sense of orientation of the sailor on the oceanic space. Thus in everyday life, As opposed to the Westerners who situate themselves, and place one object in relation to another by saying « à droite, à gauche, tout droit, derrière, en haut, en bas », The Malagasy refer only to the cardinal points which for them are eight, else, new with the center, And say to locate, Indicate a path, And designate the location of an object in space « au nord, au sud, à l’est, à l’ouest, au nord-est, au nord-ouest, au sud-est, au sud-ouest »…

C ardinal points having a social and political meaning ... so the North is associated with the power, with Authority and command, the south in the submission, the servitude, the humility and the inferiority, The East to the Sacred, The ancestors and the creator, and the west the secular sector, of the impure and of the foreigner. As much as the words, the places express the power, the sacred, the nferiority or the impurity…

...F or the newcomer, the cultural face, history of Madagascar seems to have the simplicity of those, smiling, of its inhabitants. A few months are enough to perceive that the appearance is misleading, and the « vahiny » attentive then begins a long fascinating journey to meet the Other. Being accompanied in her research by the explanations of men and women scholars is an immeasurable wealth…*

T he whole team of BEMIRAY Tour wishes you a good trip and will tell you soon

Rafolo Andrianaivoravony

*In Tana Culture 2000 (Guide to a Capital)

**Laurence INK / In Madagascar Fenêtre (Overview of Malagasy culture)