Friday, September 10, 2010


Last night, around seven oclock pm, many Senegalese were outside looking up at the sky in search of the moon. Despite the fact that France and many other countries declared it was the end of Ramadan, Senegal likes to make sure by waiting to see the moon themselves. Especially this year. Why? Well, superstition.

Korite marks the end of Ramadan, although the name varies from country to country. It is a day of great celebration. The month of fasting is over, and Muslims dress in their best clothes, pray, and feast with family.

This year, Korite would be either on Friday or Saturday... The only way to see what day the holiday would be on, was to look at the sky on Thursday night. Senegal is a bit cautious to declare Friday as Korite because there is a superstition that someone important will die if it is on a Friday.

Today is Korite and it is Friday.

Last night, I received 4 text messages around 730 pm from friends spreading the 'word' that the next day was a holiday. Spreading the word that a holiday was the next day is not so difficult here; radio alerts the public every few minutes as well as local tv broadcasts. Text messages flood the phone lines. Even the school that I teach at sent out a 'night before' text telling teachers and families that school would be closed the next morning.

It is 9 am on Friday, and I am on our roof... listening to the quiet. This morning Dakar is calm and peaceful. The birds are chirping, there is a nice breeze, and the street that is usually bustling with car rapides, buses, and lots of traffic is empty. In the distance I can hear the hum of the imam from the mosque. It is a lovely day... I am envisioning Sonko and Astou celebrating with their families. But, I can't help but to wonder about that 'important person'...

No comments:

Post a Comment