Friday, August 20, 2010

The Gambia 101

The Gambia is Africa's smallest country, completely surrounded by Senegal (other than the ocean line), located on the western side of africa along the Atlantic Ocean. They are colonized by the Brittish therfor their countries language is english
however most are unable to speak it. You will find 4 different languages being spoken there which are Wolof, Mandinka, Fula and Serehuli. Most Gambian are able to speak 3 out of the 4 local languages but only 1 being their primary language.

You know how here in the States we get our own plate along with silverware can choose from eating a large array of foods and usually end up eating it in front of the TV, well in The Gambia it is for the most part completely opposite. All lunch and dinner meals consist of rice accompanied by some sort of sauce, cassava and okra, as far as meat is concerned you don't really eat it often, it is a luxury to have it. With that said they do eat fish
a lot, since they are right along the ocean and there is a river in the middle of the country that runs almost completely across there is plenty of fish to go around. The food is served in a large communal bowl, typically women eat with other women and men eat with other men. When eating you do use your hands but make sure to use your right hand only!

So you think you've never heard of The Gambia? Odds are you have somewhat heard of it, remember the movie ROOTS or Kunta Kinte? Well if you haven't already figured out where I am going with this, yes, ROOTS is based off of Kunta Kinte who is from The Gambia. The picture to the left is an island called Juffure Island, also known as James Island. Kunta, along with many other Gambians were held captive on this island until ships came to get them. They were bought and sold as slaves to Europe, Haiti, Jamaica and America. They have kept the island in the condition that is was in 200 years ago, it is really a touching experience to see the African side of the slavery that went on.

So, I know none of this was really about school supplies or anything that my actual project is for but I thought it may help to get a bit of the Gambian background, for you to understand where The Gambia is and what they are known for. Hopefully soon I will do a "The Gambia 102" for you because this does not even cover half of what makes The Gambia!!

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