Social Stability

Diego Ramos-Meyer - Senegal


April 18, 2015

You can spend hours talking about the issues of Senegal with Senegalese people: the sexism, defined gender roles, discrimination against non-heterosexuals, problems with the education system, the child and spouse abuse, dominance of Islam, ignorance of current world issues, elevation of elders/males, and the absence of discussion of these difficult issues.

Or you can highlight the beautiful aspects, which are many times the same as the issues, just in a different light: the invitations to eat meals, Teranga (hospitality), respect for elders, emphasis on education, two years of free university, the giving of money at baptisms/weddings, strength of family, involvement in community, the connection and acceptance of religion.

After a while, something becomes apparent about the way this culture functions, especially in more rural, small villages, the areas that haven’t been as influenced by the West in a modernized world. It’s the defined structure, the fact that most people in this society have similar views, have a relatively narrow perspective towards life. The values of this culture are taught and ingrained from a young age, families must do as their parents, grandparents, and ancestors did before that.

Growing up in the United States, where individuality and freedom” are stressed as basic human rights

Diego Ramos-Meyer