Published: August 8, 2017
Na ngeen def! (Hello in Wolof!)
Today villagers learned about the culture of Francophone Senegal in West Africa. During the meals, villagers participated in sketches relating to Senegalese life and practiced phrases in Wolof, the most spoken language in Senegal.
“Fatou Yo” was one of the chansons (songs) in Wolof led by Dean Chantal and counselor from Senegal, Mariama. It’s a popular song about a young Senegalese girl growing up.
During lunch, villagers tried plantains and the national dish of Senegal, the Tiebou, which consists of yellow rice with fish and vegetables. Villagers were later assigned to their family groups whom they eat dinner and participate in veillées with during the two weeks. Each family chose a last name relating to a word in French slang.
For the veillée, villagers rotated to different stations relating to aspects of Senegalese culture. These stations included trying ataya, the popular tea of Senegal with Chantal, practicing rhythms on the djembé (African drum) with Mambo and practicing common phrases in Wolof with Mariama. Juliette talked to villagers about the popular wrestling sport of Senegal, la lutte, while others listened to staff member, Papa from Senegal lead storytelling, or lebb, folktales told to children before bedtime that offer moral lessons. Villagers also learned about tea making (ataya) with Séydoux. Naïma led a station about the technique of bargaining in Senegalese markets and KouKou, also from Senegal, talked about historic sites in the country. An important aspect central to Senegalese culture is téranga, the emphasis on warmth and hospitality.
Through meeting staff from Senegal, other Francophone speaking countries, and exploring themes about Francophone countries, villagers engage with the French speaking world beyond France.
Be benen yoon (Until next time in Wolof!)