Monday, May 12, 2008

Everybody will be kung-fu fighting

In getting ready to go to Madagascar, one of the most surprising things Mrs. Angus and I have learned in our reading is that the country is kung-fu crazy!

According to the BBC:

Kung fu primarily appeals to Madagascar's middle class youth of both sexes, with some students beginning as young as four. But it also has a following in the older sections of society.

"Ministers, doctors, lawyers, and especially priests all practise kung fu," explains Charles Andriamihaja, the president of the AAKUFUMA Kung Fu Society of Madagascar.

The discipline hit the island in the 1970s and was a factor in protests against the authoritarian rule of President Ratsiraka, who banned its practice.

Current President Ravalomanana is a whole other story though. He has his own voluntary kung-fu security detail (at least he did in 2002). Here's how one local practitioner describes his prez:

"Ravalomanana reflects the ideology of the kung fu and that is why we must protect him,"

Ellie Rajaonarison (a Malagasy poet) breaks it down for us:

"The kung fu movement was about protecting people,"

"Kung fu fighters today occupy something of a mystical space in the Madagascan psyche because of their strength and power and for what they stood up for during the 1980s."

Thank goodness me and Mrs. Angus practiced Tae Kwon Do for a couple years. We'll be aiight.


Shawn said...

two things:

one: the new byline...make me think of..well..something else, which I'm embarrassed about.

two: is madagascar a (legislated) weaponless country? I wonder what the prevalence of martial arts are vs. legality and access to guns/other weapons. Is it directly inversely proportional?

Angus said...

shawn: how ya like us now bro??

Shawn said...

killing me. but that also means you knew what I was talking about, though I believe we established that in some post a while ago.

rule #1: you do not talk about 2g1c (or /b/)

rule #2: ...well, you get it.

Shaolin Kung Fu said...

Wow I had no idea, that Kung Fu is so "hot" there. I've seen beautiful images of the island but kung fu? Realy cool, thanks for sharing!

In the long run, Kung Fu will have a postive effect on everyone I believe.