An intercultural and intertemporal experience in Antananarivo
I am fond of intercultural relations and I have always been excited at meeting different people in different places, all over the world while I am traveling for a holiday, or for business. Therefore, when I am given a new opportunity, I just catch it.
Where? In the Garden of Antanninarenina, Independence Square, Antananarivo, Madagascar
On July 5 and 6, 2019, I participated in an intercultural experience jointly organised with the Canadian association ATSA and La Teinturerie-Isart, in the garden near Hôtel & Spa Colbert in Antaninarenina, Place de l’Indépendance, Antananarivo.
A soup to initiate an intercultural dialogue
The objective of this animation was to invite the passers-by of the garden, to participate in a spontaneous dialogue between two visitors to this public space, in order to invite them to discuss a theme proposed by one of the animators of the above-mentioned associations.
On social themes
The themes focused mainly on current societal and intercultural issues in a globalised context.
Then on July 5th, we were invited to join a person to share a soup, and discuss about the colonisation in the past and its influence in current Malagasy society.
To exchange across cultures and perceptions
My interlocutor, an intelligent Malagasy student who was open to dialogue, allowed me to understand the Malagasy point of view of an episode that also concerned my original French culture, even if, because of my social origins and the time lag, I did not really feel responsible for its present effects.
We need the others to understand reality
This experience once again helped me to understand, if it was still necessary, that understanding reality involves the perception of others and the acceptance of the others’ point of view.
By bridging the gap between cultures (and languages)
At the end of this enriching intergenerational and intercultural discussion, the facilitator suggested that we identify the poetic sentence that best illustrated our verbal exchange:
therefore illustrated this exchange
Excited by this extraordinary experience, I did it again the next day
On Saturday, July 6th, 2019, the chosen theme for discussion was the environment and its protection.
The environment and its preservation on the planet
Once again, I had the chance to talk to another Malagasy student from the University of Antananarivo. We discussed the actions taken or not to preserve the environment in Madagascar but also in France and in the rest of the world by extending this reflection to the scale of the planet.
The poetic sentence that was extracted from this exchange was:
The environment is us
We are of course beyond our countries and cultures, all of us responsible for preserving our environment.
Here again, the interest of this verbal exchange was the confrontation of two points of view influenced and inspired by a different education and culture.
The meeting of these two Franco-Malagasy points of view was once again very positive.