On How Religion Creates New Life-stories
The book will be essential assigned reading in university courses in development studies, anthropology, and missiology.
Chapter 6. Urban Citizens in Search of a Living: A Story of Changes in and Around Antsirabe
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URBAN CITIZENS IN SEARCH OF A LIVING: A STORY OF CHANGES IN AND AROUND ANTSIRABE
Throughout my childhood, my everyday life was framed by Antsirabe. In this city, with its exotic shops, lively markets, diverse population and beautiful location, I grew up. As an adult I have had an opportunity to get to know the city from a development studies and anthropological perspective.
The city of Antsirabe is situated in the Vakinankaratra region, an agricultural area in the inland of Madagascar. Vakinankaratra is populated by the Merina population group,59 which is commonly thought to be the largest population group in Madagascar, and has around 3 million inhabitants (Eriksen 2010, 233).
The Merina people live in the area called Imerina. For most people this denotes the area that corresponds to the area of the Merina monarchy toward the end of the eighteenth century. For political authorities from the beginning of colonial times, however, Imerina has denoted an administrative unit, i.e. the Antananarivo area. Andrianampoinimerina, who was king of the Merina kingdom from 1787–1810, divided Imerina into eight different districts. Of these, Vakinankaratra is the district that lies furthest south in the region. Vakinankaratra is today an administrative area, and since 2004 it has been one of Madagascar’s 22 regions.
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