( Ivato airport via wikipedia)
One of my guilty pleasure is to read a new entry from the awesome ( but not underrated anymore ) blog: stuff white people like.
It is a satirical blog written by Christian Lander who pokes fun at all the little things that US liberal-leaning ( at least that's my read on the blog but I might be wrong) Caucasians like to do. The author says that everything that he lists on his blog includes stuff he himself likes.
Among the list of stuff white people like, you will find:
"Hating Corporations," "Modern Furnitures", "having gay friends", "Threatening to move to Canada", "Not having TV" , " Mos Def" and "Farmer's markets".
Some might think the blog is stereotypical, even racist. I will not go into that discussion but I will say this: since the author bases most of his list on his own experience as a white person, I don't feel any guilt enjoying his entries and his sarcastic tone. Morevover, the blog has a major mainstream appeal ( 4 millions hits/month) so I believe not many people would think of it as demeaning.
It got me thinking whether a website called "les trucs qui branchent les Blancs" ou "Ny zavatra tinay ( fill in your Malagasy ethnic group of choice) " would be considered an acceptable topic or even worth having fun with.
Sure you can find comedic gold dealing with race in French: Les inconnus's "Auteuil-Neuilly-Passy" and"Bioman", "La verite si je mens" or Gad Elmaleh's uncle immediately come to mind. However, I have yet to find a blog that would assert the little idiosyncrasies of white (or black/ arabs for that matter) folks in France with a humorous tone.
How about Madagascar ?
Sipakv recently wrote: "En parler a Madagascar [du probleme racial] ? Helas, j'ai bien peur qu'un jour le probleme occulte des castes et de l'esclavage ne nous explose aussi au nez." ( The issue of race ? I am afraid that the not-to-be-mentioned issue of cast and slavery will soon explode in our face.)
and Tomavana to add: "Un jour, faudrait bien en parler, de gré ou de force ... j'espère seulement que ce sera de gré" ( one day, it will have to be addressed, by our own collective will or else, hopefully the former).
Not counting the few extremist blogs out there who advocate the superiority of one ethnic group over another ( no comment), no one has really initiated a frank continuous conversation about race back home. Still too uncomfortable probably. In fact, it's so uncomfortable for me that I will totally chicken out and avoid the issue by listing things that Malagasy abroad like to do instead: (see, I did not totally chicken out, I could still be ripped apart here):
So in no particular order, stuff Malagasies abroad like:
1) Point out the supposed reasons for economic struggle in Madagascar:
Frankly, no one has a clue why we are struggling so badly, but we sure like to have our own little theory ( and designated culprits) about the whole thing.
2) Authentic Malagasy foods (and restaurants): I am getting hungry just thinking of it right now.
3) Complain about Malagasy-related event (and still attend a fair share of them, guilty as charged here).
4) Rabesandratana and Vikash Dhorasso: They sure are pretty good football players with ties to Madagascar but they are not quite Malagasy.
5) The thought of being once upon a time world champion of "petanque" (and hoping to qualify for the World Cup of football).
6) Browsing for fellow Malagasies at the airport. Just for fun...see if a distant cousin is leaving...
7) Razilnah and Eric Manana.
8) Play the family-6 degrees of separation game: (with fellow Malagasies abroad... we probably will need only 3 or 4 degrees..)
9) Ari Vatanen (and Sophie Marceau).
PS: there is also a stuffblackpeoplelove website. Not as popular yet...