Sunday, May 18, 2008

Further south....is my big Malagasy family


This is the island where my parents were born.
Exactly, they were born in a little village outside Antananarivo.

My father lost his father at quite a young age and enrolled in the French air force.
My mother was a lucky girl and was sent to France to study in Bordeaux.

This is where they met and got married.
A few years later, they moved to Aix-en-Provence
and had three daughters which they took on a few trips to the big red island
to make them discover they roots, taste the exotic fruits they ate when they were kids
and meet their oh so numerous cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, friends of friends

I feel so much love for Madagascar that I cannot talk about this country
without being passionate or...cry...You see, we people from Madagascar are very emotional
and yet, at times, I'm full of hate for the corruption which still prevails.
At times, I'm too impatient with its own people who seem to accept poverty and hunger
as normal and ordinary facts.

But for now, let's put serious topics aside for a while
and please meet my big Malagasy family !




So here we are all...no too smiling I'm afraid because it took ages
to take a proper picture. (actually this one is still blurry)
We're celebrating my parents wedding anniversary. They sit in the center.
My mother wears a brown straw hat and my two sisters stand right behind her.
I'm on the left in the second row kneeling next to one of my uncles.

My brother in law, the man in a green shirt in the last row made
two funny wharolian portraits of my parents when they were young.

The party was fun which means : absolutely but delightfully disorganised.
which is actually very malagasy...
We served some fairly strong coco and pineapple punch prepared
by my cousin Nivo with rhum my father brought back from Madagascar.

Believe me after one glass, you feel free to do anything...
I couldn't believe my parents just forgot about the whole meal
and started to dance on traditional Malagasy music
while some of their guests were wondering who's in charge here ?

I'm so sorry, I have no pictures to show you about this happy crowd dancing.
Surely, I was quite busy opening bottle of wines, serving food,
and exclaiming for n times : oh..it's so nice to see you again, more punch ?

At one point...paf...the unexpected happened, we had a power cut.
Which meant, no more music, no more dancing....
until it came back one hour later.
Saved !

I can't tell you how much I was thrilled to meet some cousins I rarely see.
Part of my family is scattered in France and Geneva, working for international organizations.
So they travel quite a lot mainly in Africa.

My parents still live in France but are traveling back and forth to Madagascar.
My father went back there last wednesday, 4 days after the party
and my mother will join him in mid june with my sister, her boyfriend and their little daughter.

Can't tell you how ENVIOUS I am!!!!
the lucky b....
and by the way it was her birthday yesterday
so I sent her this picture I took of her..mmm...quite a few years ago
trying to make her look like a star in the 40s ....

Isn't she lovely ?



Oh...and please slice that cake, my mother told me...

pff...tell you what, in the end I was knackered






ps : just realizing, I completely left aside the reason why my parents wanted me to go to Madagascar this summer. But can't afford it...oh well..may be next year...

it's all about "tossing the bones". You can read about it in one of my former posts. I would be so glad if you read it. It's about Malagasy traditions. You see, I want you so much to discover my other country. Thank you my lovelies.

12 comments:

Vanessa said...

Hello Lala! I think I once saw a feature on National Geographic about the custom of turning of the bones in Madagascar. There was much merriment involved while the remains were dug out. (Please do correct me if I'm mistaken or am referring to a different custom altogether.) Have you ever participated in the tradition yourself?

Oooh that cake looks scrumptious. And your your sister, sultry! Must sample that punch! :-)

Kristen said...

my husband lived in a Madagascar for 6 months or so....during college. He loved the people there! He ate a lot of rice and delicious food. I always thought it would be cool to there some day!

M.KATE said...

Beautiful Lala, I didnt know much about Malagasy, love the family potrait :)

Happy week my friend :)

rochambeau said...

Hi Lala,
Thanks for taking us to the party too! Thank you for teaching me about Madagascar. When I first met you, I looked up on the map where it is and read about it too.

I like how you love your family too.
You sister is pretty like you. Great photo you took.

Do you know Only Mary's blog?
You will like.
http://onlymaryonly.blogspot.com/

Have a great day.
Constance

OnlyMary said...

Hola d enuevo Lala:

he leído esta entrada, y no hago más que imaginarme ese punch del que hablas, la fiesta "desorganizada", con música, baile,amigos, familia.....uf.Es perfecto.Me encanta.

Ojalá escribas más sobre Madagascar, me encantará leerlo.

Un abrazo

Mélanie said...

Thank you for sharing your falimy's story. Your parents look gorgeous so are you ! and your family looks terrific ...

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

LaLa, what a beautiful post...reading it, I felt like I was reading a letter from a best friend...so honest and from the heart.

Your love for your island home shines very strongly; I hope you will be able to go there soon, I think your eyes will drop some tears as soon as you exit the airplane...

I am like that when I go to Greece...it is more than a trip, it is a journey to your own heart and soul.

YOur mother in this photo, yes, yes, glamorous like a 1940's movie star. She exudes classiness!

YOur family are beautiful...all the beautiful colours of the human rainbow represented...and I found you on the end, looking elegant, without even reading where you were.

The happiest times are when family is all together.

I am glad you had yours around you, and a wonderful party.

Regards,
Lavinia

Sara said...

Greetings Lala! I enjoyed learning about Madagascar's customs and people and your family. You have a very large and lovely family, how blessed you are! "Tossing the bones" is quite an interesting custom; I had never heard of that before.

Good food, good punch and good celebrations...what more can one ask. We should enjoy life, and it looks like people in Madagascar know how to do that.

Sara

Paz said...

What a lovely-looking family you have. Congrats to your parents on their anniversary!

Paz

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