Social Stability

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