About Us Cultural Exchanges with Madagascar

As on 25 April, 2022

Cultural & Educational Brief


1.    Cultural Relations: 300 Sanskrit words have been documented in Malagasy language. The Malagasy epic of Ibonia resembles Ramayana in its plot structure. Recently, the Malagasy translation of Bhagavad Gita was provided to our representative in UNESCO. A street in the city centre is named after Mahatma Gandhi and a road connecting the town hall with the Embassy is named after Indira Gandhi. Malagasy people are familiar with Indian culture thanks to the presence of vibrant PIO community here. Indian TV channels are included in the cable TV package by the local cable operators. Indian movies/TV serials has been telecast on National TV and the famous TV serial Kabhi Kabhi has also been telecast on National TV in the past. 


2.    The cultural programmes organized by the Embassy in association with local organizations have been well attended. An ICCR-sponsored Contemporary Indian Dance group visited Madagascar in August 2018 and October 2019 and held performances in Antananarivo.  The Mission celebrated the first ICCR Foundation Day on 9 April, 2019 which was attended by ICCR alumni and other distinguished guests from Malagasy side. Weekly Yoga classes are also organized at the Embassy regularly but are currently under suspension due to Covid-19. 57th ITEC Day was celebrated by the Embassy of India on 23 September 2021. H.E. Mrs. Mrs. Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy Andriatongarivo, Minister of Communication and Culture, was the Chief Guest at the event. Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, Chef de Cabinet of the Foreign Minister of Madagascar, Secretary Generals of several ministries of Government of Madagascar, a large number of ITEC alumni, and the members of Indian community actively participated in the event. 



3.    Festival of India in Madagascar: The first ever Festival of India in Madagascar (sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sangeet Natak Academy and ITDC) was organized in Antananarivo in 2015. The inaugural show was held with a scintillating fusion dance performance by Nrityarupa dance troupe from SNA. This was followed by a Bhangra dance performances and Mehandi Art show (9-12 October 2015 at Antananarivo & Toamasina), Food Festival of India (9-15 November 2015 at Antananarivo) and Gujarati Folk Dance performances (25-30 November 2015 at Antananarivo and Mahajanga). The events received overwhelming response from the local NRI/PIO community as well as diplomatic corps, Government dignitaries, businessmen, professionals and artists. An Indian dance group Roop Kala Kendra held performances in Antananarivo and Tulear in August 2017. In August 2018, an ICCR-sponsored Contemporary Indian Dance Group visited Madagascar and held performances in Antananarivo. In October 2019, an Indian Music Group ‘Antariksh’ performed in Antananarivo. The cultural programmes have been well attended by local people and Indian community.  


4.    Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: To mark the celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Mission organised a display of pictures / photographs on the life events of Bapu at the La City Centre in Antananarivo from 2 to 12 October, 2018.  An LED projection of a slide-show on life events of Mahatma Gandhi was also organised by the Mission on Group Sipromad Tower on 2nd October, 2018. A commemorative postal stamp on Mahatma Gandhi was issued by Madagascar post on 2nd October 2019.  The grand finale of the celebrations of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was celebrated with inauguration of a 8kW Solar Power Plant at the Embassy building by the Malagasy Prime Minister Christian Ntsay. A Gandhi Katha “The Oceanic Gandhi” by Prof. Makarand Paranjape was also organised on this occasion. The Mission organised an online conversation with violin maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam and well known singer, Kavita Krishnamurti on 19 October, 2020. The Mission organised a special exhibition on Indian Diaspora in Madagascar on 27 March, 2021 at the Chancery. It was inaugurated by H. E. Christian Ntsay, Hon'ble Prime Minister of Madagascar. The exhibition was showcased at Hindu Samaj Association Temple in Antananarivo between in the month of August 2021 and in a showroom in Antananarivo in the month of September and October 2021.


5.    An online illustrative talk on “Ancient Murals of India” was organized on 7 July 2021 by renowned film-maker, art-historian and photographer Benoy K Behl as a part of the celebrations of the 75 years of Independence of India. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam was projected on the Embassy building and inscribed in the Chancery building in October 2021.The Embassy of India Antananarivo organized a special unveiling ceremony of the plaque of “VasudhaivaKutumbakam” in the Embassy premises on 10 March 2022 to mark the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav on the occasion of 75 years of India’s Independence. A Green Triangle named after Mahatma Gandhi was jointly inaugurated in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo by Hon’ble Mayor of Antananarivo Mr. Naina Andriantsitohaina, and Ambassador on 16 March 2022 to mark the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations in Madagascar. A 13-member delegation from Madagascar participated in the Surajkund Mela from 1-16 February, 2020 in India.

6.    The cultural and biodiversity of the state of Gujarat was highlighted through a special photographic exhibition on the occasion of Independence Day Celebration under AKAM celebrations on 15 August 2021 at the Embassy Residence.


7.    Monthly literary event LaLitTana is organized regularly and is popular among the literary community. The Mission organised the 10th edition of its monthly literary programme LaLit Tana on 22 January, 2021, after an interval of several months due to COVID-19 pandemic. 11th Edition of LaLitTana was organized on 12th February 2021. The 12th Edition of La Lit Tanà was held on 26 November 2021, at the premises of the Embassy of India in Tsaralalàna. The 13th and 14thedition of LaLitTana (Indian Ocean Poets) brought contemporary poets of India and Madagascar together online for the first time. 15 editions of LaLit Tana have been organised so far. 

8.    International Day of Yoga  (IDY) : The Mission successfully celebrated seven editions of International Day of Yoga – the inaugural edition on 21 June 2015;  the second and the third editions on 18 June 2 016 & 2017, the fourth edition on 21 June, 2018, fifth edition on 21st June 2019, sixth edition on 21st June 2020 and the seventh edition on 21st June 2021. There was appreciable increase in the participation of the Malagasy community in addition to the international community present in Antananarivo.  


9.    Hindi Day was celebrated at the Embassy of India Antananarivo on 14 September. It was attended by members of ITEC, ICCR alumni, Malagasy diplomats, Indian community, and families of the Embassy officials. A short Hindi animation movie was also shown during the event. It was followed by a special Hindi quiz that  saw enthusiastic participation of the guests. Hindi poems were recited by the Ambassador, officials of the Embassy and the school children. The event ended with Hindi Day pledge taken by the Indian Embassy officials towards promoting Hindi language.


10.    World Hindi Day was celebrated at the Embassy of India Antananarivo on 10 January 2022. It was attended by members of ITEC, ICCR alumni, Indian community, and families of the Embassy officials. The event started with the video message of Hon’ble Minister of State Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi. It was followed by remarks made by Ambassador Abhay Kumar on the different ways in which Hindi has gained prominence in international arena and how celebrating World Hindi day is important in promoting Hindi around the world. A competition on Hindi handwriting was also organized in the event that saw enthusiastic participation of the guests. Hindi songs were sung by members of ITEC Alumni and local staff of the Embassy. Hindi poems were recited by the Ambassador, officials of the Embassy and the school children during the celebrations. Video messages from local staff members of the embassy were published on the social media handles of the Embassy.


11.    The festival of Diwali is celebrated every year by the Mission. High dignitaries from the Government of Madagascar grace the occasion as the chief guest. Ministers and high officials of the Government of Madagascar, Ambassadors, Representatives of the Diplomatic Missions, Members of the Indian community in Madagascar, ITEC and ICCR alumni actively participate in the celebrations.

12.    The festival of Holi celebrated on 19 March, 2022 at the Embassy Residence. Hon'ble Foreign Minister of Madagascar H.E. Richard Randriamandrato graced the occasion along with Ambassadors, Head of International organizations and member of India diaspora participated in the celebration.


13.    Celebrations of the 73rd Republic Day of India in Antananarivo, Madagascar were marked by unfurling of the Indian National Flag by Ambassador Abhay Kumar which was attended by the Indian community in Madagascar. Ambassador also hosted a reception on the occasion of the 73rdRepublic Day of India, in which the Foreign Minister of Madagascar H. E. Patrick Rajoelina was the Chief Guest. The  President of the Senate of Madagascar also attended the reception besides the Ambassadors and the Heads of International Organisations in Madagascar. 


14.    Embassy of India in collaboration with Air Mauritius organized an event “Incredible India” in August 2019 in the Embassy premises to promote tourism between India and Madagascar. Over 20 Malagasy tour operators, country director of Air Mauritius and representatives of the Ministry of Tourism participated in the event. 

15.    Ambassador met the representatives of 22 Indian Tour Agencies who visited Madagascar in February 2020 to explore the tourism potential of the country on the invitation of Madagascar Tourism.


16.    The Embassy of India Antananarivo collaborated with Pharmaceuticals Exports Promotion     Council of India (Pharmexcil) and organized a webinar and virtual Business to Business meetings on opportunities in healthcare and pharmaceuticals on 14 December 2021.

17.    The Embassy of India Antananarivo organized a Tourism Promotion Event in the Embassy premises on 28 February 2022.  The event was attended the Director General, Ministry of Tourism of Madagascar and travel agents working in Antananarivo and local citizens.


18.    The Embassy of India Antananarivo organized a Trade Promotion Event on 24 March 2022 that saw the launch of India-Madagascar Chamber of Commerce in Antananarivo. 

19.    150 solar lamps were donated by the Government of India for high school students of Lycee Jean Joseph RABEARIVELO and promotion of import of renewable energy from India to Madagascar in February 2020. Mr. Naina Andriantsitohaina, the Mayor of Antananarivo visited India as an ICCR Distinguished Visitor from 7-15 November 2021. During the visit, he met Hon’ble Mayor of Mumbai City, Smt Kishori Pednekar. 

20.    Indian Community/Diaspora:    There are about 17,500 persons of Indian origin in Madagascar including approximately 2500 NRIs holding Indian passports.  Most of them are in trading but some of them are also in the manufacturing and other businesses. Indian origin population constitutes less than 1% of the total population of approx. 25 million. In recent years a number of Indian professionals have been working in different companies, including multi-national companies in Madagascar. The role played by the Indian community and diaspora in economic development of Madagascar is appreciated at all levels.  Some of the Indian Diaspora are quite influential and their contribution to the total GDP of Madagascar is substantial.  The Indian Diaspora has been playing a significant role in preserving and promoting Indian culture and traditional values in Madagascar. 


21.    Educational Relation: On the request from the Malagasy Education Ministry for English language medium books in the subjects of English, Math and Science donation of 100,000 NCERT books for Malagasy schools was announced during the Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji’s visit on 14 March 2018. The books reached Madagascar in December 2019 and were handed over to the Government authorities on 14 January 2020. A street library was inaugurated at the Embassy of India Antananarivo on 21st January 2021 by the Minister of Communication and Culture. Further, deputation of English and IT teachers, grant assistance of computers and peripherals to University of Tulear (Southern Madagascar) and LyceeModerneAmpefiloha School in Antananarivo were announced during the Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji’s visit to Madagascar on 14 March 2018. In compliance with the announcement, Ambassador donated the computers and other equipment to the University of Tulear on 20 April, 2018. Ambassador donated 50 computers to the largest high school in Madagascar—Lycee Moderne, Ampefiloha in April 2022. 93 ICCR scholarships in top Indian universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University were granted to Madagascar since 2014 and 866 ITEC training slots utilised in Madagascar since 2007.