République de Madagascar
• Location: Indian Ocean (Southeastern coast of Africa)
• Capital: Antananarivo
• Language(s): Malagasy, French
• Population: 20,702,466
• Total Area: 587,041 sq km
• Currency: Malagasy Ariary
• Curious Alcohol Fact: There is a lot to drink in Madagascar, from the national wine to ranonapango, which is made by burning rice. This drink is also called ranovda.
• Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 1.32 liters
• Most Popular Drink: National beer (Three Horses Beer)
Madagascar Travel Video
Right from when I was young, I have always been thrilled with that island that is always by the side of the large African continent, and ever since I learnt that the name was Madagascar, my interest only grew. Madagascar is an island nation and is one of the largest islands in the world. Although what most of us see on the map is one huge chunk of land pointing upwards, there are some other smaller islands that make up the Repoblikan’i Madagasikara. These include Nosy Be and Nosy Boraha. The capital city has a nice name which sounds very cool to the ears –Antananarivo. Madagascar is a nation of highlands especially in the central region where most Malagasy settle.
The population of the country is over 20 million and I find the ethnic composition of the country very interesting. Malagasy have their origins in Africa, South East Asia and the islands of the Pacific. Thus, the citizens are of diverse and mixed backgrounds. However, there are various ethnic groups and the largest of these is the Imerina (Merina). The Merinas are found mostly in the plateaux of the country and that is where the name Merina comes from. Other ethnic groups are the Betsimisaraka who are found in the eastern provinces, Antaimoro, Betsileo, Tanala, Antandroy, Antakarana and the Bitanimena. Overall, there are about 20 ethnic groups but the differences can be quite blurred. When it comes to religious practices, traditional beliefs are very strong and thereare amazing practices and traditions aimed at honoring the dead. Malagasy value and respect the dead. Other faiths are Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.
Malagasy Dishes –The Foods of Paradise
There is no person who will visit this island nation and not be enraptured by its beauty. I do not doubt that and the beauty of the island reflects in the cuisine. Malagasy are legendary cooks, and the typical meal in the country is prepared from rice, stew, spices, meat and vegetables. Vegetables are always cooked when fresh and they feature in many dishes. For those who are in love with seafood, this is the place to be. Seafood is prepared by the finest cooks –prawns, lobster, fresh fish and all.
What to Drink
Malagasy enjoy various drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. There are fresh fruit juices in various stalls and shops. You can also purchase the ranonapango, which I find very interesting as it is made from rice that has been burnt. The national beer is Three Horses and it is sold in various bars and restaurants in the country.
Places to Visit
Without mincing words, Madagascar is the paradise of every tourist. There are fantastic sites to visit, from celestial beaches to virgin forests. What I find most interesting about the island is that there are some animals there that you will not see anywhere else on the planet, and an example is the lemur.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Daniel Krasnopolsky (Woodmere, NY, USA)
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
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