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Ngalakh: Senegal’s Christians and Muslims partake in Easter custom

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In Senegal, Christians and Muslims reinforce their unity and solidarity with the “Ngalakh” dessert specifically ready for Easter.

In Senegal, the place roughly 4 p.c of the inhabitants is Christian, the feverish preparation that began earlier than Easter to be celebrated on 9 April continues unabated.

Christian households put together a particular dessert for “Good Friday”, which represents the top of the Nice Lent (Careme) quick that the Christian neighborhood retains in the course of the Easter interval and coincides with the Friday earlier than Easter Sunday.

Ngalakh, the primary flavour that involves thoughts when Easter is talked about in Senegal, is ready with “thiakry”, a sort of semolina generally utilized in West Africa, baobab tree fruit, nutmeg, milk, sugar and peanut cream.

Christian households collect early on Friday on the house of a household elder and prepare dinner sufficient Ngalakh for nearly the whole neighbourhood.

Ngalakh has a liquid consistency and is served with grated coconut, banana slices and raisins.

The younger folks of the home make an inventory of Muslim neighbours and acquaintances and distribute a lot of the dessert to them till Friday afternoon.

Ngalakh, an Easter custom, is taken into account one of many symbols of unity and solidarity between Muslims and Christians in Senegal right this moment.

AA correspondent was the visitor of a Christian household making ready Ngalakh within the Parcelles Assainies neighbourhood of Dakar.

– “Each non secular celebration strengthens our ties”

Hortensia Alaofary Kanfoudy, who prepares Ngalakh together with her household, mentioned that Christians additionally quick for 40 days earlier than Easter and Ngalakh symbolises the top of this quick.

Kanfoudy mentioned, “We get along with our household elders and put together Ngalakh collectively and distribute it to our Muslim neighbours. We’re very pleased to have the ability to proceed this ancestral custom.”

Underlining that Ngalakh is not only a dessert, Kanfoudy continued as follows:

“Ngalakh shouldn’t be solely a conventional dessert but in addition a logo that strengthens the dialogue between Muslims and Christians. That is already our predominant need. Muslims additionally provide meat and couscous to their Christian neighbours on Eid al-Adha, Ramadan and Ashura. We, too, provide them treats on Ascension and Christmas. This sharing on each non secular celebration strengthens dialogue and unity.”

– “This solidarity is exclusive to Senegal”

Kandoudy’s aunt, Muslim Rokhaya Diagne, who participated within the Ngalakh preparations, mentioned that Muslims and Christians dwell collectively not solely in society but in addition in the identical household.

Diagne mentioned, “Yearly we prepare dinner Ngalakh at my nephew’s home. I’m a Muslim, my sister is a Christian. We don’t see one another otherwise. This solidarity is exclusive to Senegal. Throughout Ramadan, Christians give us iftar and we provide them meals throughout Lent. We glance after one another on each non secular vacation. I’m pleased with this image.”

Kandoudy’s Muslim neighbour Adama Manga Coly, to whom Kandoudy distributed Ngalakh, mentioned that Muslims and Christians consider in the identical God and that nobody judges the faith of others.

Coly mentioned, “In Senegal, everybody respects one another’s faith, nobody is in a contest of ‘my perception is superior to yours’. It is a secular nation. We dwell right here peacefully along with Christians in addition to many sects.”

The rationale for dialogue is mystical teachings

In Senegal, which is 96 per cent Muslim, greater than 60 per cent of the inhabitants observe Muridism, Tijanism and Qadirism.