▲ Up
 
08:51 04-03-2015
MAIN Russian
About us On-line subscription
KazakhstanTajikistanUzbekistanKyrgyzstanTurkmenistanWorld
POLITICSBUSINESSINCIDENTSSOCIETYCULTURESPORTANALYSISSCIENCE
Twins considered taboo by some Madagascan tribes

Bishkek (AKIpress) - Madagascar twins Taboos in Madagascar's rural tribes are part of society, ranging from the mundane, like not planting rice on a Thursday, to the practical, like not having sex with a sibling, The Huffington Post reports.

But one taboo is causing widespread misery amongst mothers and children on the southeast African island – the taboo of raising twins.

Now a new Channel 4 documentary examines how the children and mothers become outcasts, with raising twins compared by tribal elders to eating faeces.

The mayor of the town is campaigning to challenge the “taboos” that villagers believe, but in tribal villages with no electricity, let alone access to television news, the message is hard to get through.

No one is really sure how the taboo began, but it is so ingrained in the culture it is almost impossible to challenge.

Ursula, the mother of two twins, was told by her husband to abandon them. “When my mother fell ill and died everyone said that her death was her punishment because she didn’t respect her culture – the ancestors," she told the reporters.

Carolin gave birth to three sets of twins, and has been forced to move house around thirty times because her neighbors feared the twins. Now, she lives in a tiny tent in what amounts to a small refugee camp for twins and their mothers.

Meeting the tribal elders was a shocking experience. Asking them why they believed it was taboo to raise twins, the journalists got a troubling response.

They said, “to us, asking us to raise twins is like asking us to eat our own shit. As long as we are still alive we are not going to dilute our ancestral culture ... we have a saying – that anyone who keeps twins has no soul,” one other elder said.

Most twins are abandoned in this part of Madagascar, but it makes them more likely to be adopted abroad. Twins are placed for adoption, usually going to start new lives in France, Sweden, Italy or Canada. A few are also adopted locally, sometimes informally amongst villages and extended families who don't belong to the same tribe, or are wealthier and more educated.


Twitterfacebookprint
16:38 08.05.2014
LATEST NEWS
17:56 Bishkek TPP demand in coal 1.2 million tons in 201517:47 Boko Haram beheadings video echoes ISIS techniques17:20 20-25% of alcohol production of Kyrgyzstan in shadow16:57 Kenes Rakishev becomes major Kazkom shareholder, sells his share in BTA to KKB16:49 Tajikistan, UNDP, Japan sign $4.2 mln deal for contruction of new Tajik-Afghan border checkpoint16:34 Tajikistan to play Maldives, Syria in football friendlies16:26 Police disrupts activity of Hizb ut-Tahrir female branch in Bishkek16:21 Canadian court seizes 6.5 million shares of Kyrgyzstan in Centerra Gold Inc.16:14 4.6 billion som allocated from state budget for Jalal-Abad and Osh cities restoration16:08 Higher Attestation Commission's work for 2014 assessed as satisfactory16:06 Accounts Chamber revealed damage of 1.8 million som in distribution of humanitarian aid15:59 PM has to question trust to Government or to resign – MP Abdyldayev15:53 Ex chairman of Kazakhstan's Customs Control Committee paroled15:48 Kyrgyzstan receives 187 thousand tons of oil products in January and February15:42 Any head of medical institution involved in corruption does not have right to hold post - Health Minister15:40 Bishkek to host Francophonie 2015 from 16 to 21 March15:40 Doctor and nurse attempt to sell 3-month-old girl15:23 Regular coffee drinkers have 'cleaner' arteries - study15:20 Bashkortostan scientists plan to meet with scientists from Kyrgyz National Academy of Sciences15:13 How much money one needs to study at law departments at universities in Bishkek?
Astana
-1° C
Ashgabat
+13° C
Bishkek
+9° C
Dushanbe
+12° C
Tashkent
+14° C
exchange rates
 
68.65
61.33
9.78
0.99
207.11
185.05
29.50
2.98
6.10
5.44
0.87
0.09
2774.81
2448.16
391.76
37.07
3.92
3.50
0.56
0.06

© AKIpress News Agency - 2001-2015. All rights reserved
Republication of any material is prohibited without a written agreement with AKIpress News Agency. Any citation must be accompanied by a hyperlink to www.akipress.com.
Our address:
Moskovskaya str. 189, Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic
e-mail: english@akipress.org, akipressenglish@gmail.com;
Tel/Fax: +996(312)90-07-75