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lauantai 12. syyskuuta 2015

Madagascar, Cool Facts #66

<= 65. Haiti                                                                                                                      67. Senegal =>

1. Unique nature 

Madagascar lies 600km from the African coast, but evolutionary the distance between the African continent and the island of Madagascar is 100 million years. Over 90% of the plants and animals can't be found anywhere else on earth than in Madagascar. They have developed in isolation for millions of years in Madagascar. 

2. Mixture of Cultures

The culture of Madagascar is a mixture of the Southeast Asian, African, Arabic and European culture. Malagasy, the only official language besides French, has been influenced by Southeast Asian languages. The Malagasy language has Austronesian and Malay origins, but it has also been influenced by Swahili and Bantu languages. The white and red in the flag refer to Southeast Asia and the green refers to African roots. 

3. Malagasy People

The Malagasy people descend from Southeast Asian and East African people. People from Borneo sailed across the Indian Ocean and inhabited the highlands of the inland in Madagascar, where the climate was much milder than on the tropically hot coast. 

The Malagasy population is divided into about twenty groups, which have inhabited different parts of the island. 

Sakalava people - practice cattle breeding
Marina people - live in the high lands
Betsileo - grow rice
Betsimisaraka - cultivate tropical small plantations
Vezo - live in the southwest and practice fishing

4. Razana

Nature worship is still dominant in Madagascar. The faith in the presence and power of the ancestors, Razana, affects the Malagasy everyday life. Yearly families arrange ceremonies, where the tombs are opened and the dead ancestors are being worshipped by turning the body around and changing the shrouds. 

Famadihana festival in Madagascar

5. French Rule

1883 France starts a war with Madagascar and gets the base of Diego Suarez
1890 France recognizes the British supremacy in Sansibar so that Britain abandons their rights for Madagascar in France's favor 
1894 France starts a new war and conquers the capital Antananarivo. 
1896 Queen Ranavalona III had given up the throne and the French colonial flag started waving in Madagascar. 
1958 France grants Madagascar autonomy
1960 Madagascar becomes independent from France


800s Arabs start arriving to the island to capture black Africans as slaves 
1500s The Portuguese are the first Europeans to visit Madagascar 
1500-1600s The most influential states in Madagascar are Menabe, Boina and Betsileo
1600s The greatest state Imerina is established with Antananarivo as their capital city
1818 King Radama the Great declares himself the king of Madagascar
1883 France starts a war and forces Madagascar to relinquish them the base of Diego Suarez and to pay for the reparations
1894 France starts another war and conquers the capital, Antananarivo.
1896 Madagascar became a French colony and the queen of Madagascar Ranavalona III gives up the throne
1920s The national movement arises
1947 Uprising against the French, which was violently suppressed leading to martial law, lasting until  the year 1956
1958 France grants Madagacar autonomy
1960 Madagascar becomes independent
1972 Tsiranana is overthrown in a military coup
1975 Commodor Didier Ratsiraka becomes the president
1992 After a failed military coup, Madagascar shifts to multiparty system
2002 Madagascar is in the brink of civil war as there was a dispute about the presidential elections, finally the other presidential candidate flees to France
2009 This time the former president Ravalomana flees to South-Africa and Andry Rajoelina becomes the president


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