Note: Anne-Marie wrote this first in French, and along with her, we edited it and then I translated it into English.
I'm happy to share with you a little about my country and culture.
Senegal is a small country but the people here are very, very generous. You could arrive from anywhere, and if it were lunch time, you'd be most welcome to join- no need to even let people know you're coming.
Women here love fashion. We love beautiful clothes like boubous, skirts, pants, tops, and pagnes; large gold jewelry; scarves or braids or wigs on our heads; pretty and classy purses. We love makeup, though sometimes it can be quite overstated or exaggerated in my opinion.
At night, the Senegalese woman shines, despite the difficult tasks of the day such as cleaning, cooking, laundry, taking care of the kids, and more. Women work hard to warmly welcome their husbands at home at the end of the day, looking beautiful and maybe even burning some nice-smelling incense. Men are very privileged here.
Men can be quite gallant and take great care of their wives, looking after their needs best they can. Although to be honest, women are also doing this but men will often still be given the credit.
There are many taboo subjects here, and you need to be mindful of how you dress, regardless of your religion or culture. There are many ethnic groups here such as *Les Toucouleurs, Les Les Sérères, Les Wolofs, Les Lebous, Les Peuls, Les Diola, Les Mandingues, Les Manjaques, Les Manhagnes... (*spelling is not verified)
Marriages are common among these various ethnic groups despite their differences, including languages and origins and sometimes even among men and women practicing different religions and traditions.
Wolof is the most commonly spoken language here, though my mother tongue is Manjaque.
Senegalese love traditional dance music called Mbalax; one of our most famous singers who sings in this style is Youssou N'Dour (click here for a sample YouTube mix).
Senegal is a country of culture, tourism, fishing, agriculture, good schools, a great university, young and ambitious youth, and sports, such as soccer and basketball.
Tourists come here because of the warm culture, and there are many beautiful places to visit like the Bandia Safari Preserve, many villages, the countryside, beaches, and most of all, teranga- the hospitality we're most famous for.
All feel welcome once they arrive. You are welcome, too!
Katie and I hope we can welcome you here together sometime in 2022 for our first small group tour of my country.
(Katie here- PS: if you'd like to do Writing Practice with us live this Sunday at 11am PST/2pm EST, register under "workshops" here on our site for free; bring a notebook & fast-writing pen!)