“Proud of its culture”, a Malagasy community immersed in an ocean of happiness in Vichy (Allier).

They came from everywhere, with their unfailing cheerfulness, names as big as their smiles, and their accents like a complete change of scenery. There are thousands of them in the fields and playgrounds, perhaps twice as many outside, to support their own, promote an entire culture and sing desperately to frenzied choirs.

The Malagasy community celebrates three days in Vichy (Allier).

Sports, but not only

Here they are, the Malagasy. There, in Vichy, during the Easter weekend, and I am very proud that I can honor the memory of an entire country, my country. Around the theme of sports, as the name of this large meeting indicates, but not only.

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“We have been participating in this event for a long time. It’s a way to bring the whole community together, to get together, to talk. We also meet new people.
The Malagasy community is one big family.”

Roger, Justin, yo-yo,
Arrival from Toulouse

“This National Sports Assembly also has a broad cultural vocation”, thus supports Olivier Andriamasilao, president of the organizing committee of this RNS, with a somewhat special flavor this year. And not in vain, for two years the pandemic has prevented this event from having face-to-face communication, exchanges and animations via videoconferencing, nevertheless allowing communication between community members across the country. . But nothing to do with a large gathering, of course.

Journey of a lifetime for the Mazel family, part of Gannat to discover the world (Allier)

“Therefore, it was important that this 2022 event could take place to celebrate our reunion,” further supports the president of this major social and cultural event, which has not accidentally chosen its venue in Vichy for nearly a decade now. “We have always been very well received. And there is something to do in terms of sports infrastructure. We are in a real country of games! ”, Olivier Andriamasilao rejoices again.

“We came with the whole family especially for this event. It feels like you are in Madagascar. We meet people, we make friends. This is also the time to take advantage of the richness of the Malagasy identity in terms of culture, sports as well as cuisine.”

Clarcia, Avicara, Francia, Suzette,
from Paris

Sport is one of the driving forces behind this great congregation founded nearly forty years ago by Malagasy students (see below). Volleyball, basketball, football… and even pétanque, which the Malagasy excel at: this Easter weekend there are many disciplines that cause wild games. And this is in the presence of sometimes club recruiters who come to discover young nuggets to force them to integrate, why not, into the Malagasy national teams.

Proud of their identity

But if the meeting is presented as a sporting one, it is also an opportunity for compatriots to reconnect with their cuisine, their music, their literature and their language. A language with only 21 letters in the alphabet, and which the community considers it their duty to protect and preserve.

“We come to make connections and meet people and also for the sports side. We are participating in a football tournament. And we are here to win (laughs). We also come to show off, because recruiters are present.”

Liano, Fizgeral, Xavier,
from the Paris region (empty)

Like Baco, who came from Paris to sell Malagasy literature: “It is important to keep this language alive, which is an integral part of our culture. And many children want to be able to learn this … “. And this despite the fact that they were born in France, like 32-year-old Hobihasina, who lived in Madagascar for another ten years. And who is as proud of their language as they are of their Malagasy identity. “She is part of us. Even here in France we are still linked to Madagascar. And we are happy that we can be here. Happiness without borders for thousands of compatriots who came to spend the Easter weekend in Vichy.

Malagasy village deployed in front of the Palais du Lac…

Pierre Gerodi

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