Religion in Senegal

Video Transcript

“The vast majority of the population in Senegal is Muslim, but it’s a very special flavor of Islam, sort of. It’s blended with a lot of animist traditions and beliefs that were there before any Muslims came to the area. So while people will go to the mosque and they’ll pray five times a day, they also have these superstitious beliefs that they blend in with Islam. For example, a lot of people will actually wear these talismans to ward off evil spirits, and they have a lot of traditions [involving] babies and pregnancy as well. For example, in Senegal, you would never compliment a baby. You would never say ‘oh, what a cute baby,’ ‘what a beautiful baby,’ ‘what a fat baby.’ You would only say ‘ugh, what an ugly baby,’ or you just wouldn’t comment on it at all. Because the Senegalese believe that if you compliment a baby that will attract bad spirits.”

In this video, a Senegalese expert discusses religious practices in Senegal.