If you’re planning to take a trip to a continent, country, it’s pertinent to do a good research; with a proper research, you’d be able to have a list of expectations, the regulations and tenets of that particular place.
In Madagascar, there are laws to be maintained and respected; it is advisable to know these laws; prohibitory or regulatory, before visiting. It is wise to get armed with ample information about their culture and etiquette.
Madagascar is a country with mixed settlers, a former French colony with Arabian, Indian and Jewish influences. These influences have merged and welded to create a unique culture in diversity.
Madagascar is regulated by numerous local taboos, known as “Fady”. Because of the diverse culture, the Fady vary from region to region; it is wise to find out the Fady of the region you intend visiting, to avoid offending people of that region or their culture.
Fady are not based on religious beliefs, but are attributed to Malagasy ancestors. As a result, the local people exhibit extreme respect and are devout in their adherence to these taboos.
Some Fady concern forbidden foods (pork, lemur, turtle) while others prohibit wearing certain colored clothing, or forbid bathing in rivers or lakes.
Madagascar has many customs; these customs, though universal, are expected to be adhered to.
- Honour the elders and people in authority. This is a serious custom to them.
- You must add “tompoko” when addressing authorities of the government, or of higher positions. The word “Tompoko” is similar to sir/madam.
- If it is your first time visiting a village, you must visit the village head or head of a clan; prior to interacting or conducting business with other members.
Ask questions before you click on that camera. They do not approve such without permission. The beautiful scenes might attract you, but ensure you take proper permission before clicking.
- Do not attempt to export gemstones or other precious materials. There are serious restrictions on the export of precious gems. Ask questions.
- Ensure you obtain a certificate of authenticity as well as a certificate before exporting gems.
- It is illegal to import or export food items (including fruit), protected plants and animals.
- There is also a restriction on exporting vanilla with a limit of 100 grams.
LAWS AGAINST PROSTITUTION
There are laws against prostitution, which prohibits engaging with female prostitutes. Avoid engaging with any sex-workers in Madagascar. A serious campaign against sexual abuse of underage children (under 18 years) is strictly enforced.