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Traditionally, the Malagasy practice circumcision in winter. In use, the period of winter from July to August is considered the most favourable, as the cold would reach its peak intensity during this period. The methods and practices of circumcision chosen – the surgical operation in itself, like all the decorum that accompanies it – vary according to the choice of the families. They oscillate between traditional and modern methods.
Consisting of a real source of anguish and apprehension for the parents, especially for the mother of the little boy, circumcision is nonetheless a moment of joy, joy and family pride. For the principal concerned, circumcision is neither more nor less than a painful surgical operation, but the trauma is attenuated by the multitude, relative toys, received and the attention of the whole family! On the socio-cultural level, circumcision has a very important significance. For the little boy, it constitutes a rite of passage that definitively marks his belonging to the male sex. It thus becomes a true “lahy”, for its strength and its resistance have already been experienced by pain. In many African and Semitic cultures, circumcision is the painful and initiating test that man (in the sense of male) has to go through to merit his status as a “man” and of all the duties and responsibilities that This presupposes in his future life as head of the family and wishes him prosperity and dexterity in the roles he will occupy in society.
Tradition and / or modernity?
Like the appellation of circumcision which varies from one region of Madagascar to another, the decorum of circumcision also varies, but nevertheless has some common features. Indeed, whether it be called “didim-poitra”, “fora zaza”, “famorana”, “hasoavana” or “sambatse”, etc .; The aim and the various customs enamelling circumcision remain substantially the same from the traditional point of view. For cosmogonic reasons, circumcisions are made only in the period of the rising moon, so that the destiny, the “vintana” of the little boy is ascending and positive like this rising moon. The full moon is also proscribed, haemorrhage. On the eve of circumcision properly so called, the family and the relatives make the “lalonana”, the festival, with dances, songs and alcohol, especially of the “toaka gasy” in profusion. The young child who has no doubt, more or less, will be circumcised at dawn by a traditional chief, generally called “rain-jaza”. A young man, vigorous and not orphaned, will be in charge of recovering the “rano mahery” at the source, a “loharano”, from the village or the city, it is according to. This water, considered sacred, will be used to clean the materials and the wound left by the operation. According to the regions, it will be the grandfather or maternal uncle, the “zaman-jaza” who will be charged to swallow the foreskin, with a banana as an accompaniment. A banana that, like sugar cane, symbolises virility, perenniality and to wish a prosperous long life to the newly circumcised young boy. Which will be greeted in the jubilation at his home, before receiving toys and having a well deserved rest. Of course, this traditional method is secular, but it nevertheless has its limits. In particular, from the medical point of view, where many small victims have been deplored as a result of infections that have become complicated due to the lack of precautions and adequate care.
Given these risks, many parents opt for so-called modern methods: circumcision in the US, circumcision in some medical centers consisting in inhaling a slightly anesthetic gas that the little boy inhales after which he is circumcised without Feeling pain, and in principle there would be no bleeding and less “postoperative pain”. For or against? Opinions diverge, but what is certain is that the choice rests with the parents only. Some people base their traditions on convictions, but also for financial reasons, because the operation in specialized centers, or even recognized ones, costs between 100,000 Ar and 200,000 Ar, not to mention the other logistical expenses for the festivities. According to their means and convictions, some parents opt for American-style circumcision, but including respect for decorum. Others choose literally the traditional methods, while others still opt for circumcision to American style and a beautiful gift, without the party, for lack of means. Indeed, a circumcision made “according to the rules of the art”, surgery, party and toys included, is expensive, as Tsiky, a young mother of family who says “to have spent 600 000 Ar, His three-year-old son should be celebrated as he should. “