Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Religion



            Not long after leaving church, just enough time for me to go home and eat lunch, the word had spread throughout Vondrozo that I had been to church.  Word here in Madagascar spreads like wildfire and people all over the country will know things faster than you can believe.  For the rest of the day everyone was stopping to ask me if I had gone and telling me that it was beautiful and/or that I should come to their church.  Which I readily agreed to do, since I am wanting to observe all aspects of Malagasy culture. 
Religion plays a significant role in the lives of the Malagasy people.  Whether it is
Christianity or the native religion, it has fused itself into everyday life here.  Vondrozo has six churches, each a different sect of Christianity.  But religion is not held just within their walls.  You can here hymns being sung in the streets and homes on any day of the week.  There are also many holidays in which work and school are cancelled in reverence to religion; Christmas and Easter each getting two weeks (though the vacation really starts a few days before and continues a few days after), as well as Ascension and Pentecost getting a day.  Many of the festivals are also religiously based.  For example, concussion (which’s practice is based in the native religion) and marriage, though in Vondrozo many people do not get married in the church (or married at all) due to the cost.  It can also be seen that within the top three questions asked of me upon coming to Vondrozo, along with “Where’s your wife?” and “How many children do you have?,” was “What religion do you pray?”  There are also many cultural facets of the native religion intertwined in everyday life.  For example, when opening a new bottle of liquor you must first pour out a little to the ancestors before drinking it yourself. 

No comments:

Post a Comment