Ankarefo is an isolated village in the Middle East of Madagascar, 150 km from Antananarivo on the way to Moramanga and Andasibe. Its population is formed by Bezanozano (Many small plaits, because of t heir twisted hair) ethnic group. The last XIX century, their houses were built at the high of the mountains or hills to prevent them from wars and enemies between clans.

Its natural resources are very rich; the land is in good quality, its vast rice fields that are able to give foods to villagers sufficiently. The wide area in addition can be used not only to other kind of plantation apart from the rice but also a kind of meadow to the cattle and zebus.

Despite of all those potential, Ankarefo and its surroundings have to face challenges to reach their development economically speaking. The practice of traditional methods of cultivating rice does not give enough but self consumption, so villagers cannot save or make a long term investments, Mountains and hills in the area do not give enough space, the bad condition of road infrastructure make the traffic of products and exporting tough so that not motivate villagers to produce more to the national markets, the deterioration of environment by use of “Tavy”, slash and burning farming, and bush fire, illiteracy, lack of equipment of education, health and administration staff.

Ankarefo villagers however have their ways of life based on solidarity and Fihavanana, they can be illustrated from Malagasy proverbs “Ny Firaisankina no hery”, and “ny fihavanana no ambony indrindra”. Fihavanana, could be defined as a concept of friendship and kinship, and solidarity as tools to overcome the toughness of life. So despite the lack of material and bad condition we mentioned avobe, we can notice that villagers are happy, deal with it and find a kind of harmony with their surroundings and adapt their life with it.

Cohesion can be found between villagers “One person can’t build a house”, “One tree is not a forest”, referring to the solidarity society to challenge life with its ups and downs, but individual society must be perish and can’t stand like sands.

This solidarity could be noticed as well in their work, helping hands, exchanging services, to substitute “Extreme Materialism” thinking and give place to the team spirit, commonality, and unity. “May our friendship like mouth and the hand, if the hand is hurt the mouth blows it, if the mouth is hurt the hand rubs it softly”’

Ankarefo villagers are not fatalistic; they have just find way to leave in peace far away from political upheaval, a way that they qualify as their non violence action against the administrations that always forget them.

Aina Madagascar

http://www.aina-madagascar.org

Advertisements