In Madagascar, Independence Day is an occasion of great magnitude. Celebrated on the 26th of June, the Malagasy people celebrate with good food, drinking, and dancing. One of the spectacles of the day is a presentation of 'Hira Gasy' which is a musical presentation of Malagasy folklore; in this, singers wearing their best traditional attire combine song and dance with traditional folk tales from Madagascar. This is combined with a speaker who presents each musical number with a piece of poetry or an excerpt from a favorite folk tale. Madagascar has undergone significant changes during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Occupying a strategic location off the southeast coast of Africa, the island historically became the target of British and French imperial ambitions. Ultimately, the competition resulted in French colonization at the end of the nineteenth century. The country gained full independence from colonial rule on June 26, 1960. We wish a happy Independence Day to the people of Madagascar and hope there is much rejoicing on this day!
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