Senegal is a country in West Africa oddly known for its violent wrestling games and its fine arts. It has great fighters, a good soccer team and a number of very fast runners. At the same time, paintings, jewelry, fabric prints, clothes and wooden decorative objects have made its craftsmen famous. On the streets of Senegal, you can find artisans who work calmly at their table, willing to chitchat a bit about their craft. There are many other things Senegal is known for: great food, fish and peanut exports, entertainment, especially music, dance and cinema and its fascinating architecture.
Due to its past, some of Senegal’s most visited spots speak about slavery, such as the House of Slaves on Gorée Island. Art galleries are famous throughout the whole Africa. Nature offers breathtaking landscapes, so you should check Saloum Delta National Park or Casamance. The coast abounds in nice, sunny beaches. Don’t forget to visit the islands or the Senegal river. On the other hand, the desert waits for courageous visitors to explore it. For passionate shopaholics, there’s a market called Sandaga, where all kinds of items are up for sale.
Senegalese themselves seem to accept the influence of the artistic environment. People wear their hair in a difficult, elaborate hairstyle that has become their trademark. Senegalese are very diverse from a religious point of view, but most of them still believe, even if just as a superstition, in animism — the nature surrounding them; some trees or animals may be subject of worship as they embody deities.
People place value on social harmony and respectfulness. They can be formal and abide some elaborate bonding rituals. When greeting one another, there should be a transition between the actual greeting and small talk. Friends spend large amounts of time on small talk when they run into each other. If you don’t want to follow these rules, the others will most likely call you out on your rudeness. Another thing: don’t make compliments. They have some sort of ‘jinx’ superstitions. You’ll take away their charm or wealth when you praise it too much. They’ll even give up items from their houses if you express your admiration out loud. You’ll receive a nice unexpected gift, but you probably won’t be invited again. In some areas, you might find mentions of witchcraft.