When I mention to the curious members of society that I come from Senegal, 6.5 times out of 10 I get responses that include but are not limited to:
*confused face with a not-so-reassuing “Oohhhh!“*
“Where is that?”
“El-Hadji Diouf!” (former Senegalese National Football team superstar)
“I love Akon”
Either way, what I hear is nothing short of entertaining. So as you can imagine, I get taken aback and do a little happy dance when someone actually knows about Senegal.
For those of you that are unaware about Senegal, do not worry, I do not judge. We are located on western-most point of the great African continent. The Atlantic ocean to our West, Mauritania to our North, Mali to our East, and Guinea and Guinea-Bissau to our South.
We are a country rich in culture and traditions with a love for life, some absolutely mouth-watering food, but most importantly, a contagious spirit of Teranga. In Senegal’s native language of Wolof, the word teranga translates to hospitality; a quintessential aspect of the country that its residents pride themselves with.
I recently came across a video posted by the American Embassy in Senegal that captured the true essence of Senegalese teranga so perfectly. The narrator explains what it means to be welcomed and live among the people of the country. The video itself was submitted by Suzy Rodriguez as part of the Peace Corps Week 2017 Video Challenge. And the best part is, she actually was the grand prize winner (way to go!).
Watching the video made me overcome with a definite sense of pride, joy, and of course, homesickness. I only hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂
Dieuredieuf (pronounced jeh-re-jef means thank you in Wolof).