Don’t Touch the Taboo Tree, Madagascar

taboo tree

Sitting on the Mozambique channel, Mahajanga, formerly on the Arab trade route, has a slow pace that matches the intense heat. The city has big boulevards, a lively bazaar, incredible seafood, and purple sunsets. Every once in a while a breeze drifts into town off the ocean to reenergize the residents. The cooking here is both French and Swahili influenced, which means we are eating lots of seafood with a mix of exotic spices, coconut, curry and fruits I have never heard of before. A giant baobab tree sits near the ocean and is claimed to be 700 years old. It is “fady” (taboo) to touch it. We are always grateful to know about local customs and traditions ahead of time, so that we did not make a cultural error.

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