Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tsikoni- Childrens Cook Out

It's party time in Madagascar! Yesterday was the annual independance day, June 26. This day is a feast for everyone. But is it really? Many poor people have no means to celebrate. Street children are sent by their masters to beg, because a national day of celebration is also an excellent day for begging.

To avoid letting children go beg on the street, the center for street children I'm supporting had a great idea: organizing a Tsikony. This is a Malagasy tradition whereby children are cooking! But how to finance this? I sent an email to my generous friends here in Tana and raised a good sum of money and support. Thank you Amanda, Patricia, Anita, Nieves, Kyong, David, Pascale, Alain and Fedor!

It was a lovely event. All the food and cooking utensils bought by the center were displayed like a market. The children were getting 'monopoly money' worth 30,000 Ariary per group. They had to buy stuff and prepare the food, in the cutest little dishes, with mini spoons and minuature pots and pans, like in a giant doll house. We the guest, were 'selling' chicken, sausage, even shrimp, and veggies, rice, pasta, fruits, etc and giving points for cleanliness and cooking skills.

So we watched three-year olds cutting tomatoes, six-year olds sweeping the floor, toddlers fanning the  charcoal cookers and all ages running back and forth to buy spoons full of cooking oil. 

Honestely, got to give it to these kids...I don't see 'our' little ones preparing a whole mini-meal in one hour. Bravo!

What donatations bought - a true feast
Three types of cooking gear

The market is open, for the first group of children

Monopoly money - give children some commerical sense

Cute little dishes

Yoghurt: 1 Ariary, Banana 2 Ariary

The guests are 'selling' the stuff

Carrots 10 Ariary per piece

Buy mine! No mine!

Here's your change

The first sales are done

Tables clothes and minipots are indispensible

Wait for your change....

Hmmm, shall I buy chicken or shrimp?

A luxury! Chicken for 10 Ariary

Even dish liquid could be bought!

Mr World Bank counting his money!

Six year old boy cutting chicken

What's on the menu girls?

Boys job: lighting charcoal

Peeling carots

It's getting smokey in here!

Fanning with a slipper

Three year old cutting tomatoes like a chef!

It is starting to smell so good!

Never to young to fan up a fire

Stir so it won't burn

Another technique to light up charcoal

Soleine is cooking too

Alex and I celebrating this great event

This is what's left at the end....nothing!

Cleanliness is important!

Bon app├ętit les enfants!


  1. Thanks for the blog about 26 Juin and the children doing ‘tsikonikonina’. Memories are coming back. I remember the time, I used to cook with these small pots and pans and stoves when I was little...:-)

    Thank you as well for supporting these children. I see they had much fun.

    On September 1st, the neighbourhood association of Wilp has invited the MG-NL group to take part in a cultural fair. Malagasy products and food will be sold and displayed during the fair. You might be interested if you are here in the Netherlands that time.

    I wish you a good day.

  2. Thanks for caring those forgotten kids. My prayer that a day will come when they start experiencing true independence in their daily lives.

  3. So nice activities done by children, I really appreciated for that. Thanks for sharing such a nice things with us and inspire people to do these things.

  4. yes, thank you for sharing these great moments !
    I can see Soleine enjoyed it too ,-)
    Greetings to Mr Alex and all kids.

  5. Nice post describing very nice activity. This way children learns to spend money effectivly and this will be very useful for them in the future. Thank you very much for sharing this nice post here with us.