Lead Image from Unsplash --
Madagascar's culture reflects the Malagasy people's roots in Southeast Asia and East Africa. Arabs, Indians, British, French, and Chinese immigrants left their mark. The valiha, Madagascar's most famous instrument, is a bamboo tube zither similar to those found in Indonesia and the Philippines today. Traditional buildings in Madagascar are rectangular in shape, with a peaked roof and a central support pillar, like those in southern Borneo. Tombs are made of more durable material, usually stone, and have more lavish adornment than residences of the living, reflecting universal respect of the ancestors. Silk manufacturing and weaving date back to the island's early inhabitants, and the woven lamba, Madagascar's national clothing, has grown into a perfected craft. Every meal includes rice, usually complemented by one of a number of tasty vegetable or meat dishes.
The sacredness of zebu cattle and their representation of riches are both African customs. As herders in the southwest defend their animals with traditional spears against increasingly armed professional rustlers, cattle rustling has turned into a hazardous and often lethal criminal industry. Or simple word, Madagascar's culture is an amalgamation of the many civilizations of its multi-ethnic people, which has resulted in a unique integration. Several features of Madagascar's culture are strikingly similar to those of Southeast Asians and East Africans, reflecting the country's origins and sharing a common heritage with both groups.
The culture of the nation has also been impacted by the cultures of the Arab, Indian, French, English, and Chinese people who have settled in the country throughout the centuries.
This section of the short story has influenced me ---
On the hill, they stayed silent, no one said any more about it. What could they say? What could they do? The girls were shut up more tightly. They valued their girls there, wouldn’t let them catch anything, no matter what. It was said that AIDS was transmitted through sex, but also blood, and that’s what women are, sex and blood, and how do you put on a condom, wrap it up, when making love to a woman you love, a woman you’d like to marry and have kids with? You have to wrap them up, shelter them from any desire to look elsewhere, they have to be protected, you have to protect yourself. Speaking of, where do they throw out their period pads? Sometimes, he sees rag squares hanging to dry . . .
This stanza in the poem has influenced me –--
The corporeal bird, the feathered bird,
who forces a tunnel through the wind
to get to the moon he’s seen in a dream
among the branches
falls with the night
into a labyrinth of leaves.
In the poem part, this is somewhat an awareness to me. As I venture through life, there are a lot of temptations roaming around, temptations that are difficult to resist. This section reminds me not because of Aids alone as a consequence of having frequent sex with anyone – anyone, acquainted or not without protection, but with how sacred the body and sex are. Our body is the temple, and we are always obliged to clean our body, even, if possible, never leave a scratch on it. This section influences me much because way back in high school – well, friends and vices, those two are attached. We were having our signature hang out be like or whatsoever, and we called it “Lady Boiz Friday Night.” Yes, it happens every Friday night, but the difference is that this night is compared to the other nights of party – they decided to, you know, touch each other until we reach the pleasure. The group leader, well, we called him our leader because he is always initiating a party at their house on the third floor or some time on the rooftop. He has a history of sex addiction, the same thing with the other members of the group. Among the members, only 3 of us never experienced being kissed nor touched because, since birth, we have never gotten the chance to have a partner. The three of us decided not to participate, never – we were lectors, we served the church – we cannot sin just like that. From then on, I started to distance myself from them until now – no more communication with them.
Now that I have read this story, once again, I will never break the virtue of my partner and me not until marriage, and besides, I do not want to be a father yet. Early parenthood would cause additional problems to my family and me, especially to my study and my kids' future. Yes, I will keep it sacred until marriage. That is how I respected my woman.
This line somewhat reminds me of my dream – to be one of the honors students in our school so that my crush will notice me – he was a Chinese girl, he is cute, I admit it, and above all, he is intelligent. I am no match for him – and I once believed that the only way he would notice me is to be with her on the top list. It is through the dream and willingness that made me who I am today. I once used my body – or the earth in me, using myself I wanted to reach the moon – even I am from the deep – too deep to be noticed and too dark to be seen, but with hard work, I achieved it. This line reminds me that there is no impossible thing in this world only if you believe and be determined to act for what you believe and dream of. Yes, I cheated once; I regret it because the one who suffered for such foolishness is me alone. However, now that I have reached the moon or my dream, I withstand by it, and I did it. I am no longer the man that I am once was.