"If it’s different, is it wrong?"

Jovana Jovanovska - Senegal

November 30, 2018


My blog hasn’t been published yet even though it says it has. Can you check
it out please?


On Wed, 28 Nov 2018 at 04:22, Jovana Jovanovska <
jovanovskajovana99@gmail.com> wrote:

> I was born in a multi ethnic community. At an early age I was exposed to
> different cultures, languages and religions. Amongst that, many times I’ve
> also experienced tensions and a lack of tolerance for “the other groups”. I
> was born in a region where schools are still divided in terms of different
> ethnicities and where many times what is different from your own belief is
> regarded as wrong. Hence, even though I was raised to respect differences,
> that clashed with the way that they were presented to me.
> By coming to Senegal, I was aware of the challenges I might face. I have
> heard about the strict gender roles, men being able to have 4 wives, a
> conservative dressing code for women and a very strong religious community.
> I would say I was very self conscious about how I wanted to approach these
> challenges. I didn’t want my views on what is right and wrong to shape my
> experience here. I wanted to learn, to experience and then consequently
> understand rather than to judge.
> The hospitality and openness of people here allowed me to learn a lot
> about the culture of Senegal. I have to admit that it is very different
> from what I’m used to, but because of all those differences it has become a
> place I call home right now.
> Now, there are many aspects of the Senegalese culture that I cherish and
> hope to use in the future. I appreciate the passion with which people speak
> whenever I ask them questions. I enjoy the long greetings I have with
> people on the way to work. I love how time is not a strict concept and that
> many times when I would ask when should I come, the answer would be “in the
> morning” or “in the evening”. I particularly appreciate the culture of
> sharing because even if people don’t have much to give, they share it
> wholeheartedly. I enjoy the calmness and the peace of my everyday life here.
> Senegal has showed me the beauty of a different part of the world. By
> doing that, it has also answered my question. For me, differences are
> significant. Without them, our lives would be more monotone. They bring a
> variety of views and new ideas.
> If something is different, it’s not wrong, it’s just another way of doing
> things.

Jovana Jovanovska