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Set your reminder guys. On March 26, 2011 at 8.30 p.m (local time wherever you are), bring your support. All you need to do is switch off your lights for an hour (or even more). This worldwide meetup day is called Earth Hour. This campaign was started in Australia in 2007 and is now celebrated every year in more than 120 countries including Madagascar. Earth Hour Madagascar 2011 is initiated by WWF via the “Clubs Vintsy” and chose “Éteignez vos lumières, allumez vos consciences” (Switch off your lights, switch on your consciousness) as a slogan . Earth Hour aims to stand against climate change in our earth and to make a difference by working together in order to create a better future for our planet. So now, take action, save the planet, turn off your lights for 60 minutes on Earth Hour Day.

This is the video I have made for the worldwide project One Day on Earth. Forgive me if it took me time to edit it and upload it. I hope you will enjoy it.

You can guess by the title of this post that the footage shows buses and markets in Antananarivo. It also shows the street markets on a Sunday morning in the Capital city where you can find a lot of items you may need to buy such as clothes, shoes, bags, school items, toys, DVDs, food, kitchen utensils…

The reason why I wanted to join One Day on Earth for its historical project is I wanted to make Madagascar known. I know I could not do that much but I really wanted to do something. Honestly, I feel sad to see several people representing a country and only a very few for mine. When joining was easier than filming on the D-day, I did not want to give up. It was a challenge for me to go out of my place handling my camera in unsafe streets.

The first shooting was made from my veranda. I started with buses since there was a bus stop just on the bridge a few miles away from my place. This was easy because I was home and no one had noticed what I was doing. It was time to go out and find something else to film but where? It was a Sunday morning; most of the shops and offices were closed. And I did not want to go to church with my jeans and sneakers.  There was a little moment of thinking and… “Bingo!”, there are always markets even on Sunday. My husband did not want me to go there. You could guess it, this would not be safe for me and my camera. But stubborn as I am, I went down the streets and headed to the markets anyway. My poor husband did not let me alone of course, he finally decided to be my “guard” :D (My husband is lovely, isn’t he? ;) ). Anyway, I could make the video. Only a few people I met in the streets were reluctant with the project, but I sincerely appreciated the sellers in Behoririka market, the bus driver, its conductor and all the passengers who nicely agreed to be part of my film. I am also thankful to Olombelo Ricky, a great and cool Malagasy singer, who let me use one of his songs for the video. I have chosen “Mananilatany”; I love the sound of this song :) (And you?)

Nothing more to say, I’ll let you enjoy the video if it wasn’t done already ;)

I’m so sorry for the delay. I’ve been so busy lately. In fact, a new year has started on March 16 for Malagasy people.

I have to admit that I don’t know much about Malagasy culture. And thanks to blogging, I’m interested in knowing more about Malagasy culture and customs now.

Youngsters are fascinated to the ‘new culture’ that western countries are bringing. But this is not the only reason. Also, we lack books and documentation about our own history, culture and traditions. And the school programs don’t deal much on them.

When I wished ‘Happy New Year’ to my peers, they thought I was crazy. Some knew about the celebration in Andohalo or in Ambohimanga but they were not willing to attend them.

As I knew nothing about how Malagasy people celebrate the New year’s eve ‘traditionnally’, some friends and I went up in Andohalo. The pics below will show you more what we have lived up there.

The ceremony started at 8 p.m. with a short ‘kabary’ (speech). Then, the organizers lit the fire which is called ‘Afo tsy maty’ cuz the fire won’t go out till the morning. A guy lit a candle from the fire and shared it to one of the young guys who were lined up in a big ‘fanorona’ (Malagasy chess). Turn by turn they went and lit the candles on the fanorona. When all the candles were lit, all these young people went and lit the candles of the ‘arendrina’ (lanterns) that the public had brought.  This “fire  sharing’ is called ‘mizara hafanana’ (sharing heat) or “mizara hazavana’ (sharing light). (I wish I brought my lantern :( )

The kids with their lanterns were invited to make a big line and follow a troup of youngsters to make a tour of the neighborhood. Wow, it was so nice to see happiness in these kids face. It was nicer to see all the lanterns shining the dark night.

‘Angano’ (tales) and games were prepared for all these kids as well. Mmmh the tale of ‘I Faramalemy sy i Kotobekibo’ made me remember my childhood. Then, it was time for everyone kids and adults to dance and to clap during the different shows of ‘Hira gasy’, ‘Vakodrazana’ (typicall Malagasy song and rythm). It had rained but none cared. They kept on appreciating the ceremony. Yet some of the organizers managed to keep the fire on :)

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long cuz we would have to work the next day which is a very sad thing for me. Why do we work on such day? I hope that in future, the government will work on it and all Malagasy people will celebrate it together as it should be.

The ceremony was organized by Mamelomaso and Ortana.

This link may interest you, texts in French talking about Malagasy calendar.  - Le Calendrier malgache -ASARAMANITRA – NOUVEL AN MALGACHE

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