There are 18 tribes in Madagascar, each with its own dialect. The 2007 constitution continues to be the national language of Madagascar, a language of Malay-Polynesian origin that is commonly spoken throughout the island and is said to be understood by all Malagasy people. French is the second official language and well-educated people are fluent, although in the countryside it is sometimes difficult to find someone who speaks French.

English, although still rare, is becoming increasingly popular, and in 2003 the government launched a pilot project to introduce English language teaching in primary schools in 44 schools, with the hope that the project will be introduced nationwide. The motivation to promote the English language is certainly due to the efforts made to improve trade relations with English-speaking neighboring countries such as Mauritius and, of course, to encourage foreign investment.

Despite these efforts, travelers still have to work hard to find English-speaking people on their way, although with some luck they sometimes find few English-speaking guides in national parks.

Malagasy people are very hospitable and friendly people – although some say their relaxed attitude can sometimes be frustrating.

Gifts should be offered when you are in a local village, especially for the village leader. The money will be considered an insult. Visitors are advised not to wear any military-style clothing or to photograph either military or police institutions.

RELIGION AND BELIEFS

Almost all Malagasy unite the Christian (Catholic or Protestant) faith with their traditional religion.┬áTwo groups, northwestern Antalaotra and southeastern Antaimoro (ÔÇťArab-MadagascarÔÇŁ), adopted Muslim practices.┬áIn the traditional religion, the highest being is either Creator Zanihari or Andriananahary, referred to as Andriamanitra, who is neither male nor female.

There are many secondary gods or natural spirits that live on certain trees, rocks, or rivers . These spirits can affect the lives of people who can visit places to pray to the spirits who are said to live there .

Madagascar follows a system of vast, complex beliefs that cover all aspects of everyday life. They are very village to village and even family to family . The many taboos are called Fady.

Fady has several categories:

  • related to actions – for example, they think they are willing to sing while eating and if they do, they will develop elongated teeth;┬á┬á
  • they are related to objects – for example, they never hold a funeral on Tuesday because it can cause another death in the family.

Foreigners are relieved of their responsibilities, although it may be reasonable and prudent to learn as much as possible in the regions visited in order to avoid offending people. The most classic example of the willingness that tourists may face is a ban on entering burial sites.

Nor should it be forgotten that Fadys can be different in different places.

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Important!┬áItÔÇÖs not a travel agency website, itÔÇÖs a personal blog and I just want to give advice based on my own experience – because in this country you can hardly do without a local guide.┬áIf you send me an email or┬á┬ámessenger┬á┬ámessage, I will bring you together with Eddy and you can be sure that he will help you with everything.