From Madagascar: Identity specificity and civilization of the universal


An article by Julien Rakotonaivo in L’Express de Madagascar (translation by CPNN)

….the appreciation of Friendship, the culture of Fihavanana, the culture of peace is a Culture that looks like us, a culture that looks like us. It shows that we are not essentially an “ethnic” Nation based on races, castes, tribes, but more a “civic” Nation based on values: the values of freedom, democracy, solidarity, respect for human dignity, for the language and culture of others (hence the importance of multilingualism).

Photo of Jean Joseph Rabearivelo from Wikipedia

But this transversality of Culture should not annihilate our specific identity. Far from it ! And in this regard, I like to refer to Jean Joseph RABEARIVELO, the most illustrious of our poets, undisputed master of WORDS both in Malagasy and in French (and even in Spanish) even though he left the School at 13… He defined himself as “A scholar of color, crazy about the French language, but burning to remain fundamentally Malagasy”…

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(click here for the French original of this article)

Question for this article:

How can poetry promote a culture of peace?

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In this year 2023, we should mark the 120th anniversary of the birth of this genius, whose destiny was shattered on a good day or rather a bad day of June 23, 1937…). And to drive the point home, or rather icing on the cake, I deliver for our wisdom, by way of conclusion, the admirable and edifying words of Mahatma GANDHI as follows: “I do not want my house to be closed on all sides and that the windows are obstructed. I want the Culture of all countries to permeate my home as freely as possible but I refuse to be swept away by any of them.

Through cultural diversity, which should be nurtured by a permanent dialogue without ulterior motives, we are rich in our differences! The epic stories of Homer (through the Iliad and the Odyssey), the immortal works of Shakespeare and the Universal Theater of Molière, the Sonata of the divine Mozart, the Trumpet of Luis Armstrong, the magic flute of Rakoto Frah, the dreams of Martin Luther King (I have a dream!), the Island of Syllables by flames by Jacques Rabemananjara, Ethiopiques and Nocturnes by Léopold Serdâr Senghor, the legend of the centuries by Victor Hugo, the poems by Rimbaud and Verlaine. I’ll stop the list! It’s far from exhaustive…Let’s drink to these inexhaustible sources of the civilization of the universal.

-Let us assume our differences

-Let us overcome our differences

– Cultivate our attractions

-Let us join together our hopes to fully enjoy our shared passion for positive interculturality.