Teranga Senegal

Nisha Gharti Magar - Senegal

March 27, 2019

“Senegal amna teranga” was one of the first sentencesI learnt when I first

came to Senegal. It means Senegal has hospitality and it is very true and

people here are very proud of it. Senegalese people are one of the kindest,

sharing, caring and open hearted people I’ve met. It is believed here that

if you have more than others then you are supposed to share or give some to

others. Everyday you hear people complimenting each other with their

dresses and makeup and hair. I used to be very surprised in the beginning

when they would say they like my t-shirt or necklace and when I said thank

you, they would be like ‘mai ma’ which means give it to me. It took time

for me to understand why people would say they would give something if I

said it’s beautiful or I like it and ask me for those things in return if

they liked something of mine. It’s no shame to ask for something that you

like that someone is wearing and you also happily offer your things when

other people like your things. You see teranga everyday everywhere. I see

at least 10 people sharing one cafe touba (coffee) in my apprenticeship. It

is culturally common to offer things. If I am normally passing by the

neighborhood and greet someone who is having his breakfast, he will say

‘kai ndekki’ which means come have breakfast. It’s amazing to see people

offer whatever they have. I’ve learnt to share and care for others here in


It is also the very end of my gap year and I can’t believe it passed by so

quickly. I am thankful for the family and community I was placed in. What I

know for sure is that I am coming back to this place because it is my

another home now.

Nisha Gharti Magar