Background Information on Senegal


Senegal is found on the Western Bulge of Africa. It is approximately the size of South Dakota. Senegal is surrounded by the Senegal and Faleme Rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of 8 million. 60% of the population of Senegal live in rural areas. 94% of the population of Senegal is of the Muslim faith.


Cash Crops: Peanuts and Rice


National Speciality:

Tieboudien - a soup made of rice, fish, oysters, and shrimp.


Meals are copiously prepared in Senegal. They are geared toward feeding a large family. There should always be enough food for an unexpected guest. The food is placed on a mat on the floor and the family sits around and helps themselves. Silverware is not used. Eating is traditionally done with the right hand. A bowl of water is provided before and after the meal for the washing of hands. A little rice is rolled up in the palm of the hand and put into the mouth. Pieces of fish, meat, or vegetalbes are broken off and tossed in front of the people eating, because stretching to get one's food is thought to be rude. The entire family eats from a central dish . The food is served on a large tray with the rice on the bottom and the toppings above the rice. It is very important for the food to be appealing to both sight and smell.


Note: This lesson is specified to Senegal, but other countries and areas in Africa have similar mealtime traditions.


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