Posted by on September 24, 2011 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Here on the island there’s a hundred different ways to say “hello”… or at least close to a 100.  Because the country is made up of 18 different tribes, all Malagasy, they each have their traditional way of saying “hey”.  Some of my favorites and their translations…


Countrywide, “salama” — “hello”

The northwest coast, “karakory” — “what’s up”

The north, “mbola tsara” — “still good”

The deep southeast, “akorabe” — “how’s everyone?”

The southeast coast, “akorabe lahaly” — “how’s the night?”

Areas with a strong muslim influence when greeting an elder, “quesy” — “hello”


There are other, nonverbal ways to say hello as well.  As I was running one morning at 6am (to avoid the heat that starts at 7am) it struck me the number of different possibilities as I greeted people who were tending their fields, doing laundry by hand, or walking to the market.   Perhaps my ultimate favorite, at least at 6am while running– the simple head tilt or the eyebrow raise.


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