Going In and Coming Out: Not What You Think

Some of the first things we were taught in coming to Senegal with the Peace Corps are cultural norms that we will be using everyday and need to be aware of with our host families and working within this culture in general.In most cultures other than America, the right hand is considered your clean hand and your left is considered dirty. This is the simple basis of why we shake hands with our right hand. In Senegalese culture, this is very true. Handing things to another person with your left hand is considered not only rude but a sign of disrespect. So we are taught and trained to eat with our right hands. Not so easy for left-handed people who are using either a fork or more common a large spoon. Also the more common way to eat is without a utilizes here, using your right hand you scoop a small amount of rice, pressing it into your palm to make a small bite of food and then add sauce or meat to it before eating the entire thing in one bite.

There is or course, most certainly, a reason for this. Of course there is. There is always a reason right. Right hand of God. So that’s why, right?


You eat with your right hand. Like dig right in like a “2-year-old-and-scoop-it-up-and-put-it-in-your-mouth”. That sounds crude.”

Research shows that our bathroom posture plays a bigger role in these ailments than a lack of dietary fiber”


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