I’m used to go to my bank and exchange 1 banknote of Ar 10,000 into 100 new banknotes of Ar 100. I bought a money purse and in it I arrange all of my money (I’m not rich so I don’t have much) so that they don’t get wrinkled.
When I have to pay the bus fare, buy tissue or some other small items, I use those very nice banknotes of Ar 100. And I always notice the different reactions from people who receive the money from me.
The grocers are the most amazed when I give them the clean and new money. Some of them even ask me why I don’t keep those new banknotes or if I am sure I want to buy things with them. Almost all those grocers admit that they will keep and arrange those new banknotes preciously and won’t use them (unless they have no choice and then will give them as change to their customers).
In buses, when I take the amount of the fare out of my money purse and I’m prepared to give it to the conductor, the people sitting next to me ask me to give them the new banknotes and they pay my fare with some old banknotes they have with them. But if no one sits next to me the conductors will be luckier and receive them. But most of the time I feel disappointed or even more, angry when those conductors take the new banknotes and do not hesitate one second before folding them.
All of this shows that we don’t respect our money. For some selfish people new banknotes shouldn’t be used. They want to keep them for themselves. For other people, money is money; they don’t care if it’s a new or an ugly old banknote.
A friend of mine went on vacation in a province of Madagascar (I can’t remember the exact place, sorry); she told me she couldn’t use the old banknotes she had on her. No sellers or “posiposy” drivers wanted them. They explained that it’s their way to teach people to care more about the money.
That is good example all of us should follow. Okay, I’ll have to admit that the paper used to make our banknotes is not so good. But we shouldn’t try to find someone to blame it on. We should find other solutions. I thought deeply about all of this and this is what I believe would be the good solution. Grocers, conductors, and any other sellers should refuse to take all the dirty and torn old banknotes. But people have to buy their food, have to take a bus… then they will be obliged to take care of the banknotes they have if they want to buy things. And also in return they wouldn’t accept to take a rotten banknote.
It doesn’t seem so difficult to do, right? I just don’t know who would start (me, maybe you).
By the way, I like the “Ariary”. I’m glad we, Malagasy people, have our own money.