Madagascar, fourth largest island in the world & well known for pepper, vanilla & lemurs
Madagascar is a country that occupies a large island of the same name, located in the Indian Ocean off the eastern coast of Africa. It is the fourth largest island in the world. Madagascar is famous for pepper, vanilla, and lemurs.
While Madagascar is an island in the Indian Ocean, it was originally settled by people of Indonesian and African descent, which you can clearly see when one looks at the inhabitants. Others have suggested that the people of Madagascar descended from Indonesians and Africans who mixed before their arrival on the isolated island, but studies prove people of Madagascar came from Borneo and Africa. It is not fully known how the inhabitants came there or if they were there already. Only later did Arabs, Indians and Jewish immigrants mix into the population of the island. The Malagasy way of thinking is a mixture of cultures, as well as their appearance and fashion style. It is a melting pot. Madagascar is part of the African Union, which is now being reconsidered due to the recent 2009 political turmoil.
The country has six provinces (faritany) - Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, and Toliara.
The Malagasy people are generally considered to be patriotic. When Madagascar gained independence from France, the Malagasy changed much within the culture and languages, returning back to their original customs and traditions again. Today, Malagasy is the daily language spoken by 98% of the population in Madagascar, and since 1972, Malagasy language has been used as the teaching language in schools. However, some of Malagasy people are familiar or even fluent with foreign languages such as English, French, or German.
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Based on a work at Wikitravel.org & Traveldudes.org.