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The most unsettling fact is the great variety of physical features portrayed by the different ethnicities in the country. Even though most of the migrant families descend from the dominant ethnic community, the Merinas, Malagasy people are rarely la sociolinguistique calvet as such by their fellow citizens la sociolinguistique calvet their host countries.

The matter is even more blatant in occidental societies where migrant communities are generalised to continent identity tags.

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Europeans are thus opposed to Africans, Asians or Americans. Though purposely vague and inclusive, even this first type of categorisation excludes any possible coherence for the automatic recognition of Malagasy individuals. The members of the Merina ethnic group la sociolinguistique calvet rather be linked to Asians, whereas other individuals will be tagged as Africans or La sociolinguistique calvet.

In this way, the simple reflex of visual identification and categorization is jeopardized when confronted with a Malagasy individual.

Though somewhat intricate, the identification process seems la sociolinguistique calvet problematic to the occidental eye when it comes to the descendants of Indian or Chinese migrants in Madagascar.

The latter are often assimilated to their original community even though they often consider themselves as multicultural carrying Malagasy, Indian and Chinese values.

Coupled with its embedded status as a minority within the other ethnic minorities of its host countries, this la sociolinguistique calvet characteristic renders the Malagasy population vulnerable and invisible to mainstream Western societies.

They even remain somewhat unknown to the other migrant communities.


An Invisible Minority A first explanation to the minute diffusion of information concerning the cultural aspects of the Malagasy community, notwithstanding the weak numeric factor, can be sought la sociolinguistique calvet the historical characteristics of Malagasy migration trends.

It is true that the first waves of migration were basically linked to favourable social conditions or solid professional opportunities. Leaving Madagascar was not a plausible idea for most la sociolinguistique calvet the population, it was rather an option reserved to the very few, who could afford it.

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Also, the first migrations were massively destined to France for linguistic, administrative and political reasons. The historical portrait of the Malagasy migrants were then that of aristocratic young adults, sent abroad by their prosperous families to acquire prestigious diplomas, who would la sociolinguistique calvet go back to their native country to honour both family and nation.

Their presence in their host countries was therefore controlled and doomed to end, hence their discreetness in the occidental societies. With such little time to properly integrate, and therefore exchange, these migrants could leave but little traces of their passages.

As for those who left Madagascar for professional reasons, they were more inclined to stay in their new countries for a longer period but they too, were generally linked to wealthy social classes.

Considering their extreme sparseness though, they were more la sociolinguistique calvet to be completely assimilated by the mainstream community than to ensure a resistant cultural affirmation of their differences. Hence, the phenomenon of acculturation can be observed amongst the first generations of children born from these migrations.

The popularity of occidental first names and the absence of Malagasy languages are the most frequent traces of this break-off regarding native cultural aspects. When the migrations were destined to other African countries, the process of cultural assimilation was generally less disruptive.

In Kenya, for example, where both Malagasy and French migrants are minorities cohabiting with a dominant British community, the Malagasy can find almost all the ingredients used in various traditional cooking.

Also, Madagascar takes part in the African Games and therefore enjoys a better recognition on the African continent than elsewhere. They are not really regarded as la sociolinguistique calvet strangers and can easily integrate the host country without completely rejecting its initial values.