January 3, 2014

Rajaonarimampianina wins

From Reuters:
ANTANANARIVO — Former Finance Minister Hery Rajaonarimampianina won Madagascar's run-off presidential election, the electoral commission (CENIT) said on Friday, but his main rival claims the vote was rigged. 
CENIT leader Beatrice Atallah said Rajaonarimampianina, the candidate backed by President Andry Rajoelina who ousted his predecessor in a coup in 2009, won 53.5 percent of the December 20 vote. 
He beat Jean Louis Robinson, who ended up with 46.5 percent but has demanded a recount. Robinson's camp has filed almost 300 complaints to the electoral court, which now has to rule on the result. 
The poll, the fist since former disc jockey Rajoelina grabbed power, is meant to end a crisis that has driven out investors, cut aid flows and sharply slowed the economy.

The name "Rajaonarimampianina" is a reminder that many Madagascarenes' ancestors arrived in prehistoric times from the land of multi-syllabic names on the other side of the Indian Ocean, 4,000 miles away. The southeast Asians or Borneoans got to Madagascar before the Africans. Jared Diamond considers that an even more remarkable feat of seamanship than the Polynesian settlement of the Pacific.

Oddly enough, Rajaonarimampianina himself looks like an East African black guy and, judging from campaign rally photos has overwhelmingly black supporters, while his opponent Jean Louis Robinson, or perhaps Robinson Jean Louis, is an Indochinese-looking fellow.

Is Robinson named after Robinson Crusoe? Many people were shipwrecked on Madagascar. It was said to be the site of the Pirate Utopia of Libertatia in the 1724 book A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates, an influential work that introduced such perennials of pirate lore as peg-legs, buried treasure, and the Jolly Roger flag. It was penned by "Captain Charles Johnson," which has often been assumed to have been a pseudonym for history's most energetic individual, Daniel Defoe (who is said to have written under 198 pseudonyms), although it may well have been somebody else cashing in on the mania for Robinson Crusoe stories. 

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, Rajaonarimampianina himself looks like an East African black guy and, judging from campaign rally photos has overwhelmingly black supporters, while his opponent Robinson is an Indochinese-looking fellow.

You're right, LOL. They look like they switched names.

Anonymous said...

Reuben from jewamongyou has several interesting posts on his travels there.

http://jewamongyou.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/racial-patterns-in-madagascar/

Anonymous said...

"Hawaii woman with long last name forces state to alter ID policy"

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/01/01/hawaii-woman-with-long-last-name-gets-new-id-cards/

"A Hawaii woman whose last name is 36 characters long has finally gotten the whole thing to fit on her driver's license and state identification card.

Janice "Lokelani" Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has a surname that consists of 35 letters plus an okina, a mark used in the Hawaiian alphabet. She received her new license and ID after her campaign to get her full name on the cards prompted the state Department of Transportation to change its policy to expand the number of characters that can appear.

Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele, 54, said Monday that she's happy she was able to help fix the problem of identification cards lacking sufficient space for long names.

"Now, in the state of Hawaii, we are no longer second class citizens because of the length of our name," she said."

sbarrkum said...

Daniel Defoe, although it may well have been somebody else cashing in on the mania for Robinson Crusoe stories.

Defore is thought to have based his Robinson Crusoe on Robert Knox's narrative as a prisoner in Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Knox_%28sailor%29

On one occasion, Knox presented Hooke with samples of "a strange intoxicating herb like hemp" which he dubbed "Indian hemp" or "Bangue"; it is better known today as cannabis indica, a plant which was unknown at the time in Europe. Hooke gave an address to the Society in December 1689 in which he provided what was the first detailed description of cannabis in English.

You can download or read the whole book here.
http://books.google.lk/books?id=QcxKAAAAcAAJ&dq=Ceylon%20Knox&pg=PP11#v=onepage&q=Ceylon%20Knox&f=false

Auntie Analogue said...


However that election recount turns out, let's just hope no one over there blows a Madagasket.

pseudoerasmus said...

"Oddly enough, Rajaonarimampianina himself looks like an East African black guy"

He does not. There is not a trace of East African appearance. If his face popped up randomly I would place it somewhere in southeast Asia or the Pacific.

Hunsdon said...

Madagascar figured in one of the Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser. Sounded like a nasty place back then.

Steve Sailer said...

I suppose Rajaonarimampianina could be a Melanesian, but the cheering crowds don't seem to notice. The Madagascar band I saw in the 1990s had two pretty sisters as singers who looked more or less Filipino while the bass player looked African.

flambeaux said...

"Defore is thought to have based his Robinson Crusoe on Robert Knox's narrative as a prisoner in Ceylon (Sri Lanka)."

I always thought Robinson Crusoe was based on Alexander Selkirk.

jody said...

" The southeast Asians or Borneoans got to Madagascar before the Africans. Jared Diamond considers that an even more remarkable feat of seamanship than the Polynesian settlement of the Pacific."

so which animal was it this time that gave the southeast asians an unfair advantage over the africans? the dolphin? the killer whale? the stingray?

darn southeast asians, having all those domesticable sea animals, allowing them to navigate the oceans by riding on the sea creatures' backs, while the africans were stuck with none. that's the reason, you see. the africans just had the bad luck of no useful animals to domesticate. but now, today, in 2014, because domesticated aninmals can be imported into africa, mozambique and zimbabwe have GPD per capita about equal to germany.

it was after all the germans who captured the Bastelntier, or tinker beasts, out of the alpine mountains of bavaria, sometime in the 1800s, the domestication of which enabled them to invent the automobile. tinker beasts, which resemble bigfoot type creatures (perhaps even the source of bigfoot and yeti legends) are amazing machinists when tamed and trained. in fact, if you go into any automobile factory today, you'll see hundreds of tinker beasts carefully crafting all the parts and assembling all the vehicles.

africa was, naturally, without tinker beasts for most of it's history. this is why there was no development of vehicles on that continent. NOT because the native populations didn't have the capability.

Dahinda said...

Is Rajaonarimampianina from the Silly Party or the Slightly Silly Party?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31FFTx6AKmU

ironrailsironweights said...

Rajoelina, the current president, is of entirely Asian appearance. He's also extremely young-looking, almost 40 years old but looking about 20.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Interesting that African Blacks didn't even have the boat-building technology or nautical skills just to go from Africa to the nearby and very large island of Madagascar. Nor are the seas in that area even very harsh, like in many other areas of the world.

Anonymous said...

Re: The picture of Rajaonarimampianina -- Why do third worlders always seem to be putting up and waving around pictures of their leaders? Is it simply a reflection of illiteracy (and so a traditional written campaign sign won't work), or is there something else going on here?

ironrailsironweights said...

Here is a video showing quite a number of Malagasy girls, working as hostesses at some sort of computer trade show. While many are mixed, several of them look completely Asian. Note: while almost all of them are definitely quite hot, I would presume they were chosen for these assignments based on beauty and probably aren't representative of women from that country.

Peter

Mr. Anon said...

What's long and hard that a bride in Madagascar gets on her wedding night? A new last name.

Gottlieb said...

'Raj' only to friends...

Anonymous said...

"The southeast Asians or Borneoans got to Madagascar before the Africans. Jared Diamond considers that an even more remarkable feat of seamanship than the Polynesian settlement of the Pacific."

Perhaps the key point is that long-distance sea-trade was normal to those who conducted these voyages. These were not one-of-a-kind voyages of discovery/exploration so much as normal sea trade of a sea-based society.

Early Indonesia/Malaysia had a number of sea/naval-based "thalassocracies" that engaged in long-distance trade:

"As early as the 1st century CE Indonesian vessels made trade voyages as far as Africa. Picture: a ship carved on Borobudur, circa 800 CE."

(Borobudur is one of those long-lost gigantic Buddist temple complexes. Located in central Java, it apparently also shows Hindu influence; Hindu temples were being built in the same area.)

These ships were perhaps not as seaworthy as ships designed for the North Atlantic, but they seem to have been completely capable of long-distance trade voyages across the Indian ocean, perhaps as far as the west cost of Africa (not just the east coast).

The Borobudur ship was reconstructed from carved images and sailed from Indonesia to Madagascar and around the Cape to Ghana in West Africa in one of those recreation expeditions (in 2003-2004). The ships are large "double-outriggers", not really a lost technology, but the detailed carvings enabled the recreation to likely be pretty accurate as to the state of the technology in the year 800:

(side view)

(stern view)


Those Chinese treasure fleet trips were probably Johnny-come-latelys.

Anonymous said...

"Now in the state of Hawaii, we are no longer second-class citizens because of the length of our names".

That was hilarious. Did she actually say that with a straight face? It sounds like something from an old Monty Python skit.