Timid Independence Day celebration for 2019 in Madagascar

26/06/2019. 59 years of independence, which means 59 celebrations on 26 June and 59 military parades. 59 years is still a lot: in human age, at 59 we are about to enter the happy days of retirement, we have lived, we have stories to tell our grandchildren. Today it is the turn of the Malagasy State to blow out its candles and its citizens will not fail to celebrate with it. In fact, on June 26, 1960, the return of Madagascar’s independence was proclaimed in Mahamasina. Day of celebration, the celebration of independence is done throughout Madagascar, but not in the same way. To be sure, the Stileex Post went to meet Malagasy citizens to learn more about this historic day.

Does the Malagasy citizen know what we are celebrating today?

Madagascar’s return to independence is celebrated every June 26th. When we asked the citizens of Madagascar’s capital what was being celebrated on this day, 78% said it was the return to independence. 21% confessed that they did not really know the meaning of this date, but knew that it is a day of celebration for the country. 1% did not want to give their opinion on the subject.

So, independence day or not?
So, independence day or not?

No, the Malagasy citizen does not yet know his duty on this day of celebration of the independence of Madagascar

From the beginning of June, for more than half a century, the Malagasy flag maitso fotsy mena has proudly adorned all Malagasy homes, as a reminder that the day of victory is near. All of them? No, because only 67% of us respect this duty to the nation.

Indeed, it is a duty as a citizen to raise the flag. Homes, institutions and companies are invited every year through advertising spots to make this symbolic gesture for the country. To set an example, the streets are also adorned with Malagasy flags. In spite of everything, 32% of our interviewees stubbornly refused to participate.

The national flag is sadly absent from the landscape in Madagascar for this Independence Day
The national flag is sadly absent from the landscape in Madagascar for this Independence Day

For the June 26th celebration, we prefer to stay with the family

Of course, the National Day is a paid holiday in Madagascar. In the country, the celebration takes place over two days: the evening of June 25 and the day of June 26. For our respondents, the evening of June 25 is celebrated 78% with family and 20% with friends. Less than 1% told us that they enjoyed this evening with colleagues, compared to 1% of the respondents who preferred to keep it a secret.

With family or friends, Tananarivians prefer to go out on the eve of Independence Day. In fact, 63% of Tananarivians are in favour of Independence Day. For them, attending the fireworks around Lake Anosy (64%), going out clubbing (5%) or taking part in the harendrina parades (31%) motivate these outings. The other 36% choose to stay at home. 1% of those surveyed did not want to confide in them.

Attending traditional fireworks remains a must for Malagasy people.
Attending traditional fireworks remains a must for Malagasy people.

On Day-D, more than 2/3 of Tananarivians stay with their families (88%), against 12% who prefer the company of their comrades.

The not-so-expected military parade?

There was less enthusiasm when we talked about the traditional military parade. It should be recalled that this ceremony takes place in all the provinces of the State, with the ceremony in the capital being held in front of the President of the Republic and his guests from the four corners of the world. This year, the parade will take place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Mahamasina Municipal Stadium and will be broadcast on the Malagasy national channel. According to our survey, 26% of the people of Tananarivo will watch it. By what means? 49% will be in front of their television set, 46% will watch it live at Mahamasina, 2% at colleagues’ homes and 1% at family homes. The rest (74%) said they were not interested.

The parade is not much appreciated by the citizens for the celebration of Independence Day in Madagascar
The parade is not much appreciated by the citizens for the celebration of Independence Day in Madagascar

Harendrina taratasy ooh, may may may

Whoever says June 26th necessarily says harendrina or lantern. However, 79% of the Tananarivians who responded to our survey confess that they do not/no longer use these Independence Day symbols. Let’s be reassured, there are still 20% of Malagasy who still claim to wear these lanterns. But what kind of harendrina? To our great delight, 32% of Tananarivians prefer traditional, paper with the small candle in the middle, 10% opt rather for Chinese manufacture and 58% choose to buy both.

No, harendrina taratasy isn't a has-been yet.
No, harendrina taratasy isn’t a has-been yet.

The big podium is only attended by 19% of the Malagasy people

The celebration of Independence Day is always accompanied by shows or “podiums” which see the participation of many national artists, or international artists in the case of this year. They usually last for the whole week. For 2019, in Antananarivo, the shows take place in Analakely, along the Avenue de l’indépendance. 19% of the participants in our survey say they are spectators of these performances. 80% chose not to go and 1% did not want to give an answer.

Conclusion of this survey on the celebration of Independence Day in Madagascar

“Timid” is, in our opinion, the adjective that would best describe the celebration of this year’s national holiday in view of the figures and responses collected from the Tanzanian population. Perhaps most shocking was the fact that some citizens deliberately did not display their national flag in their homes. Lack of civic-mindedness? Lack of awareness? The state should still seriously address the lack of this patriotic gesture. In any case, the theme of this year’s Independence Day celebration is “Malagasy aho. Tia fandrosoana. Tia ny Tanindrazako“. We hope that the Malagasy people will not see this day as just a day off, that everyone can ask themselves what they have done and can still do for the country, as citizens, so that the word “independence” finally has a meaning. Have a thought for those who fought so that today we have the chance to celebrate our return to independence. As for the Stileex Post, for the next 59 years, it wishes for the next 59 years that Madagascar will no longer be on its knees, that its people will finally realize how wonderful its country is. No matter who will be at the head of this country, if the people forget their duty, we will remain in chains. Tomorrow, stand up and, with your right hand on your heart, sing loudly and clearly:

Ry tanindrazanay malala ô, (O our beloved homeland!)

Ry Madagasikara soa, (O beautiful Madagascar,)

Ny fitiavanay anao tsy miala (Our love for you remains,)

Fa ho anao, ho anao doria tokoa (And abide forever)

Tahionao ry Zanahary (Protect and Guard, O Creator)

Ity nosindrazanay ity (That island of our ancestors)

Hiadana sy ho finaritra (In serenity and joy)

He sambatra tokoa izahay (And we shall be blessed)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here