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#584
Madagascar
Keymaster

The choice of the location of the new Antananarivo hospital, Soavinandriana, between Anjanahary and Ampasampito, seems rather surprising for the time (late 1880s). It is quite far from the upper town. It is located 2.5km from Andohalo, very separated from the city, separated from it by rice fields and some escarpments, in a space practically uninhabited. And the means of locomotion is the Filanjana.
In his “Report of year 1892”, Dr. Fenn did not fail to emphasize “the concern of those responsible, the remoteness of the city causing them to fear a decrease in the number of patients, at least for outpatient consultations.”
“But the experience from the beginning, fortunately, erroneously condemned this view, as the author agrees” (Dr. C. Chippaux, Chief Medical Officer of Girard and Robic, 1963). According to this
Last, it is certain that health and safety requirements must come about under the influence of missionaries.
“The site was completely bare, and was very ventilated, sunny throughout the day, away from urban rats, as well as unhealthy garbage deposits.” In addition, the hospital is located Half-slope and the puddles of stagnant water are not to be feared as at Analakely.
“It should be noted that the northeastern situation of the place chosen in relation to the city, and especially in Andohalo, may be a place of honor in ancient Malagasy thought, while the south is fady and could be considered as an insult. “
It should be emphasized, however, that some newspapers of the day
“Filazalazana vaovao malagasy”, which speak of the hospital built at the place called “Ampanatonandoha” which, literally, means “place where one hangs the heads”. But according to Dr. Chippaux, this last place, more to the east, corresponds to the one where later the Meteorology services will have to settle.
Some authors, in any case, consider that Queen Ranavalona III wants the hospital to be placed under the best auspices. Others believe that on the northeastern hill range sites could have been retained, as they are equally well ventilated, sunny, supplied with water and, finally, sheltered from the annoying urban conditions with regard to hygiene .
Dr. Chippaux also cites “a very little known hypothesis, but one that deserves attention”.
The choice of the place by the queen could be linked to the history of the second Christian martyr, Rafaralahy Andriamazoto. This young man died for his faith on Monday, February 19, 1838, shortly after the first Christian martyrdom, Rasalama. Both have been pierced by spears at the usual place of torture in Ambohipotsy, the southern quarter of the old town or upper town.
According to Clark, in fact, the first Christians persecuted by Queen Ranavalona during the persecutions, gathered outside the city. “We chose the most remote dwellings and the darkest nights (Mondain) to sing, in all quietude, to read and interpret the Bible. “
According to Pastor Clark, subsequently confirmed by Pastor Rabary, Rafaralahy Andriamazoto owned land in Anjanahary. “But in order to receive his co-religionists and to pray together, he had to isolate himself to the east of Anjanahary.” Probably to the place where the new hospital is built.
“Traditionally, a cavern has existed in the area,” and according to Dr. Chippaux, “this excavation was conducive to isolation.”
Rafaralahy dead, two theses confront each other concerning his body. The first, that of the pastor Mondain, says that the death of this martyr was so exemplary that his relatives and friends get executioners to remove the body to Ambohipotsy and to bury it in Anjanahary.
But in the Daty Malaza, Pastor Rabary speaks of a darker epilogue to the drama. It was the next day or a few days later, in the darkness, that two relatives or friends, under the pretext of collecting wooden twigs, would have picked up the head and some bones of the martyr and put them in a bag before the Bury in Anjanahary. But we do not know exactly where. However, there is a cemetery in Anjanahary.