So for this week, I thought I would focus on Malian foods, as advised by William (yes, I am giving him a shout out, but Jillian's shout out is special, because her shout out is in the TITLE.) The staples of Malian food are rice and millet (grains) and their plates look like this:
Apperently, when you are done eating, you should burp. THis tells the host(ess) that the food was yummy, and you enjoyed the meal. Truth to be told I've never had African food before, so I'm a little nervous about it's taste. I know that I have to eat what I am served to not be rude, but what if I don't like it? I've found a couple of African restaurants in Seattle, and I plan to go eat there, so that I am prepared :) If anybody wants to come with, call me! Or if you know of any African restaurants, too. I don't know if I am correct or not, but it seems to me that when it comes to eating, everybody eats out of the same big pot. Sounds pretty cool, if you ask me. But I'm a big culture nerd >.< Talking about cultures, Mali is a cross roads of different cultures. Dance and Music are very important to Malians...Sounds like I'll fit it with no problem! Yeah! Another plus--the majority of the population are boys my age ;) just kidding, we're not allowed to have a relationship when studying abroad haha. Greetings are like most american greetings. there is a verbal greeting, and you shake hands (unless its male to male greeting. this is followed by putting your right hand on you chest to show respect) you should, however, bow your head if greeting an elder (again, to show respect) As for touching (of course I'm talking about touching) its common between same sex (e.g a guy touches another guy a lot --if they are friends they hold hands while walking! D'awww why can't Americans be like that?) But girls and guys don't touch each other a lot (Darn!) Malians have an indirect style of communication (so if they have a problem with you, they won't tell you to your face, they'll tell other people instead) and usually start a conversation with small talk. WARNING: NEVER EVER EVER INTERRUPT OR CONTRADICT AN ELDER THAT IS JUST PLAIN RUDE. Eye contact is a no-no, too, unless you're talking to a friend.
A good gesture to know: pursue your lips and make a "bzzz" noise. This gesture means "nothing."
Taboos: Don't point with your index finger. Instead, point with your hand. Don't use your left hand to give or recieve objects. Its rude. Don't bring your host(ess) a gift if invited to dinner. The host(ess) is expected to be able to provide their guests with everything. I hope I can remember all this!
P.S. BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xD