Exactly 518 years ago, on August 10, 1500, Madagascar was opened. It happened by accident: the Portuguese Navigator Diegu Dias, who was going to India, lost his way, got into a storm and came across an unknown land. s team waited out the bad weather in the local Bay, where they found drinking water, and the importance of his unscheduled discovery Dias realized much later, when not far off was already returning home. Madagascar is an amazing country: it has unique flora and fauna, as well as an original culture — a mixture of African and Austronesian.
On tourist postcards print primarily stunning Madagascar landscapes. They really amaze: more than 90% of the local flora and fauna are endemic, that is, nowhere but Madagascar, not found.
Sometimes Madagascar is also called the Red island, and for good reason: the local soil is rich in various minerals and metals, and therefore cast red.
The country's economy now, in the period of independence, leaves much to be desired. Even unnecessary things here to throw is not accepted: everything will go to work. Therefore, the local markets sell empty cans and bottles, burned out bulbs, bottles, wires, and even used syringes!
It's like an invisible time machine works in Africa: twenty kilometers from the capital is very, very far. In many villages huts are built of straw and bamboo, there are no electric generators, and the necessary utensils for farming — from nails to juicers — are made of wood.
French is spoken in the capital and major cities. Occasionally you can also meet someone who speaks English well. Basically, everyone speaks Malagasy.
Rice is the main ingredient for everyday meals. It is actively grown local. It is curious that in many rural shops rice is measured not by weight, and cans.
Every house in Madagascar has a web. It can not be removed — it is contrary to local religious beliefs.
The largest predator on the island is fossa-a beast that resembles a cross between a cat and a dog. Fossa — a large animal, an adult may be the size of a lion. The closest relative of the predator is a mongoose.
In Madagascar, there are a huge number of so — called Fadi bans. Any traveler should know about them in advance. So, one of the most common Fadi — ban on work on Tuesday. It's almost like the Sabbath in Israel, just about as strict.
Another example: gifts on the island are accepted only with two hands. There is and quite strange Fadi. For example, in some places you can not talk. Pregnant women can not eat peanuts, and children — look in the mirror. In addition, it is forbidden to swim in the lakes. This is also due to the cult of ancestors: supposedly they were reborn into fish that live in these lakes.
Fadi may appear and be canceled, sometimes at the behest of the village head or because someone dreamed of ancestors and so commanded. Ancestor worship and folk beliefs of the local live in harmony with official religions — Islam or Christianity.
Baobab is one of the symbols of Madagascar. On Earth, only nine species of this unusual tree, and six of them grow on the island.
The current President of Madagascar (he's on duty as of 2014) the longest name among all the heads of States of the world: Erie Rajaonarimampianina (Hery Rajaonarimampianina).
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