Teranga Senegal

“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.