Ramadan and Korite

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, was observed in Senegal on June 18 and recently ended on July 17. During Ramadan, we break fast before dawn with bread, dates and tea then abstain from eating or drinking anything until sunset. This is a very difficult month for everyone, but especially for manual laborers who must work outside during what is arguably the hottest month of the year. Farmers must plow and plant their fields, masons are scrambling to finish houses before the heavy rains, taxi drivers have long journeys ahead of them, and not an air conditioned office in sight. The fasting lasts for a month, beginning and ending with the slivered crescent of new moon. On July 17th, the entire village gazed west into the rose-blush dusk, searching for the first sight of the slight pale finger-nail of a moon. The following day was Korite, a day of pure, unadulterated feasting. Groups of young men dressed in their finest bou-bous, led the tour de Ndorong, visiting each family asking forgiveness and sampling their cuisine, typically macaroni or cous-cous served with onion sauce and goat meat. This Korite, our family cooked roast duck with vermicelli, onions and potatoes. After stuffing ourselves silly and reveling in the fact that we can drink water again, the village silently agreed to a mass siesta. Below are a few pictures of the celebration.

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Farmer use horses, donkeys, and cattle to plow their fields after the rain. Farmers plant millet before the rain and peanuts and corn after the first heavy rain. Thus far, the rains have been promising.


Ya Fatou and Mamjaara in their newly built kitchen singing the duck to remove hard to pluck feathers.

Kids wearing their Korite’s best stop by asking for candy and small change. The angry pose must be really in this year, I promise, all of these kids got candy.

My adorable nieces, Hadioum and Ndeye Awa, and nephew Tijane in matching floral print.


Nuffie Satu and Baby Fatou out for the count. Korite revelry is a marathon, not a race.

Myself and host mother Ya Fatou.

Myself and host sister Mamjaara.

My counterpart and his wife wanted to honor my family by naming their newborn baby, Elaine, after my mom. She’s wearing the outfit my mom sent from the states. Look at those cheeks! Too adorable!


4 comments on “Ramadan and Korite

  1. elaine says:

    Great pictures and updates! Give the baby a hug for me! Love – mom

  2. Barbara Camara says:

    Congrats to Bassirou on his daughter and to you and your Mom for the namesake. Wonderful testament to the love and understanding possible between cultures. Greetings to all my friends and family in Ndorong. Miss them all so much!

  3. Phylis says:

    Thanks for the update and all the wonderful things you are doing over there. Great pictures and those children are so beautiful and baby Elaine is adorable. Keep us posted and take care Mikhael. Love “Auntie” Phylis

  4. Julie Tapp says:

    Just getting caught up on the blog and love all the pics and stories…makes me want to go back to Africa! Congrats to my neighbor Elaine for being such a support and having raise of this incredible man. Keep up the good work with our brothers and sisters Michael!!

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