Around the communal bowl.

The Senegalese serve most of their meals in large communal bowls. In the photo below, children in the village of Kiniabour crowd around a serving of ceebu jën – the archetypal Senegalese meal of fish and rice with steamed vegetables.

Twice a day, I would crouch by the bowl in this crowd and reach my hand in for a serving. Usually my hosts would tear fish meat from the bones with their hands to distribute it around the bowl. Throughout my half-year in Senegal, I learned two things: how to comfortably crouch on my knees for long periods of time, and that Senegal is embedded with the virtue of community and hospitality as shown by the way they eat.

A more detailed reflection of my experiences around the communal bowl can be read in an article I wrote for the Emory Wheel, found here: “A Taste of Humanity

communalbowl-1

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