Malagasy gender relationship
It looks like Malagasy men appreciate me as they honour me by their ‘Hi Sweetie’ and ‘Hello Beauty’. First, I was left in peace because I was wearing cold weather clothes.
It is nice and funny for now, these calls. Nothing like street harassment in Paris. However, I noticed that sometimes men humour could be tendentious and even dubious. Jokes about rape are not scares according to some sources and my own experience.
Michèle Rakotoson’s ‘Juillet au pays’ looks very promising, almost the best book about Madagascar I’ve read so far. I like its accuracy and depiction of the Malagasy society.
We’ve got an extensive library at the Centre de Presse Malagasy. I’ve scanned Toavina Ralambomahay’s ‘Madagascar dans une crise interminable’ about Madagascar political crisis from 2002. I’ve also had into my hands a collective university book led by Bernard Idelson ‘Journalismes dans l’océan indien Espaces publics en questions’. It gave me the thirst of reading more about the African point of view on Malagasy press.
I’ve recorded the first edition of ‘Médias Dévoilés’, the radio program about media education. It will be broadcasted on Radio Université Ambohitsaina (107 FM) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
I’m so happy to write for radio and say my texts again! Radio writing is specific and really changed me. I was writing very long sentences before, very literary and this writing is synthetic, denser, desultory but more poetic. I was afraid of ‘losing’ my literary writing in writing so well for radio. But in the end, it is like muscles: you just stimulate different ones and it doesn’t mean that some are lost. In my opinion, this different way of writing also changed my way of being: more into action from this time.
I make my colleague Keshia laugh when I way my texts out loud. ‘It sounds like I turned on the radio’ she said.
I love so much this mysterious media. When I had to pick my major in third and last year, I chose radio because I was scared about it: so exposing, so secret and so dangerous for the shy girl I was then. And I picked well as radio writing and radio itself are very lyrical.
Just like music and dance, it is an ephemeral art which echoes maybe antic oratory and timeless theatre. Admittedly, we record and re-broadcast but our meeting with listeners could only be by chance. The risk of missed meeting is high. Who did not heard about a news, discovered a charming voice, an incredible track by chance, on its car or kitchen, in turning on the radio?
Badminton sessions of this week (Wednesday night and Sunday lunch) were different and completing each other. The most redoubtable ones are clearly kids. They really are future champions! The youngest ones give you a proper lesson about how to hold your racket and correctly move… Shuttlecocks flew in the air, whistling and smashes made our ears vibrating. They are genuine artists, working with power and delicacy. It is funny to notice similar moves to fencing. I practiced it more than 10 years ago but I’m keeping such a good memory of this superb sport.
Responsible trade and handcraft promotion
I asked a skirt to be made by a tailor. In France or other rich country, I would have not thought of having my clothes handmade, thinking it was just out of my budget. Even if I would have preferred to contribute to the subsistence of a dressmaker rather than enriching big brands making children work in inhuman conditions on the other side of the planet.
In here, I succeed in joining the business with pleasure in making a skirt sewed. I’ve met Luciana and her brand Afro & Stylée for an interview (article-test for a free newspaper, No Comment). When I saw her work (and my restricted wardrobe _ remember, I’ve been told not to bring a lot of clothes and my misadventures at the market _read again about it_), I thought it was an opportunity to try. I can afford it and it is great!
Yes, it could appear quite pointless, this little paragraph about buying a skirt. But the approach behind is more profound. What would happen if we were all trying to buy responsibly? To say to yourself that rather than buying in big supermarkets with fake lights, we could support the education of a child, health of a family or stop rural exodus? It sounds so easy to go towards the ‘known’, the shiny. But thinking about the raw material deducted to its source, its production, transport and trade, we can have another look on our shopping bag. I’m not even talking about social, economic and environmental impact of a product. I’ve heard about efforts done on labelling products into big supermarkets in Europe, giving more information about origin and impacts of a product.
But why not helping people closer to us?
I also ordered shoes from a real shoemaker. I saw the profile of a young Malagasy entrepreneur launching his brand of shoes made in Madagascar vita Malagasy (‘Made in Madagascar’). The brand is Liberty Shoes. I was curious and proud to support it.
It really worth the wandering in Antanindrano. The shop was not easy to find but it was really amazing. It is a tiny shop with mostly men high-standing shoes, few women models, all in leather or suede. You can almost customize everything: material, colour, and model. I was amazed to see and hear artisans working just behind a curtain in the shop. You are in the heart of savoir-faire, of authentic. Human relationship is so much different. You talk to artisans. You are not falling into commercial claws of experimented vendors with sharp arguments.
Just like clothing, I had a very posh conception of tailoring but in here, I think it is an honourable way of supporting people.
And then, there is a wait of a product which will your own, unique.
‘Indian like’ drinking, economical and uniting
We cannot say the weather is already hot but temperatures are rising midday. Soon, we will need to be more careful about mosquitoes and other health risks.
An Indian friend taught me how to drink straight from the bottle. He was right to show me this safe technic because it is avoiding to share germs in thinking about others who will enjoy freshness. Basically, you just put the bottle higher, pour the water into your mouth and not press your lips onto the bottle.
It is not easy at first: in general, you spill everything, especially in a car. But it is so much hygienic and community-oriented to share one bottle instead of buying several ones.
I sometimes hear some people speaking Reunionnese creol and Mauritian creol on the streets. I must admit I love it.
These ones are not always appreciated. Like everywhere, you’ve got good ones and bad ones. Michèle Rakotoson mention History and immigration and communities in Antananarivo…
Civism is not dead
A studies fair brought giant waves of new students last week. Taxis-be were saturated but it was nothing like I knew before (lien). This time, on the two ways, everybody was politely queueing, no one tried to cut the queue. Civism is not dead!