Thursday, May 26, 2011

Piggy Bank

Today I went on a little field trip and learned something really interesting. The trip was to see some land that will be used for planting crops to feed the streetchildren in Alex's center I'm supporting.

As we are walking around to talk to village chiefs and farmers, I notice quite a few pigs roaming around.
Alex explains to me that they are Vahaza pigs, foreign pigs, or white pigs, and indeed they look foreign. And white. They're watching me with their piggy little eyes with pink eyelashes.

The village chiefs explains that when you feed them well, pigs can grow up to a 100 kg and can be sold for lots of money. But food is expensive and feeding a pig to reach 100 kg can take up a full year.

Malagasy farmer and his Piggy Bank

"Feeding my pigs daily", the farmer explains, "is like saving money for later".

It then dawns to me...A PIGGY BANK! In Dutch we call it 'spaarvarken' (savings pig) and in french it's cochon tirelire. I never before wondered why pigs are always associated with savings.

Now I know!

p.s. I of course googled the etymology of piggy bank and on Wikepedia it's mentioned from the Middle-English word 'pygg', a type of clay to make jars. Obviously the authors of this Wiki-nonsense have never been to Madagascar :-)

1 comment:

  1. Good story! You made my day!!!