The vital points of social life in Andranomilolo
The respect is mainly presented to the elders of the village called Soja be or Tangala mena who have the responsibility to assure the social life’s harmony and stability. Only the elders have the power to impose a reconciliation in case of an argument, or to preside traditional festivities. They are asked for advice whenever important decisions are to be made. So far, only men become Soja be at the age of 70 years; it is the difficulty of reaching such an age in this village far-off in the north eastern part of Madagascar which earns them such respect. Everybody in the village learns from the elders regarding various practices and « savoir vivres » of daily life, for example with the many diverse ways of holding a speech and the manners of replying to it, or about efficient techniques of crop and livestock farming. But the respect can also be recognized among all other villagers in their greeting practice (which usually consists of five different phrases for asking the news) and their considerate manner of speaking.
Amidst poverty and difficult life conditions, the inhabitants of Andranomilolo remain solidary in order to preserve the balance in their social life, which is also encouraged by the Fihavanana: the Malagasy concept of social cohesion based on helping one another. This solidarity appears during activities such as house constructions or the organization of festivities, but also when tragic events such as accidents, diseases and cases of death take place.
With their vital points of social life, the villagers of Andranomilolo collaborate with WWF on forest restoration and environmental conservation. Through the realization of the different proposed forest conservation techniques (nursery and reforestation practices), they hope to ensure a good future for their next generations.