Happy independence day Senegal

In 1960, Senegal gained independence from France as part of the Mali Federation – an alliance linking Senegal and the Sudanese Republic. However, the federation lasted just 2 months following Senegal’s secession and the Sudanese Republic became the Republic of Mali.

Interesting facts about Senegal:

– Senegal has been part of several West African empires including the Kingdom of Ghana (8th century), the Tukulor Empire (11th century) and the Jolof Empire (12th-14th centuries).
– Between 1982 and 1989 Senegal and The Gambia joined together to make Senegambia.
– Goree Island in Senegal was the site where millions of Africans were shipped to a life of slavery in the Caribbean and the Americas, also infamously known as ‘Door of No Return’.
– Besides the main languages of French and Wolof, 40 different languages are spoken in Senegal.
– Senegal is known as the “Gateway to Africa” as it is served by multiple air and maritime travel routes.
– Senegal is home to Fadiouth, a small car-free island made entirely of clamshells including the houses, streets and cemeteries.
– Lake Retba in Senegal sometimes turns rosy pink due to its unusually high salt content which is 10 times that of ocean water.
– Senegal is home to Africa’s tallest statue (49 m), African Renaissance Monument.
– Some drivers in Senegal attach horse, sheep or cattle hair to their taxis as these tails are believed to provide good fortune.
– It’s a tradition to take care of your sheep in Senegal. Every Sunday on Dakar’s Yoff Beach, you can find sheep enjoying their Sunday afternoon spa and bath.
– Music is the lifeblood of the Senegalese people. In fact, indigenous musical instruments, like kora and balafon, are mentioned in the very first line of Senegal’s national anthem.
– Senegal is home to griots. They are traditional storytellers, poets and musicians, and have been known for their skills oratory and lyrical mastery, basically the original father of rap music. You can find griots in Mali and Guinea too.
– Senegal was a pivot for The Negritude, which was a literary movement in the 1930’s-1950s. Born in Paris, it had many notable Senegalese people who later spearheaded the decolonisation of Africa.

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