The third edition of the Dakar carnival ended on Saturday (Nov. 26). This year’s guests of honour were the Hal Pular ethnic group.
During three days, hundreds of dancers, instrumentalists and artists paraded through the streets of Senegal’s capital to showcase the best of their culture.
The festival gives the opportunity together different communities living across the country to come together.
“If we perpetuate this festival, the promotion of Senegalese culture will be assured”, elder Elimane Mbaye said.
“It’s not easy to bring together so many ethnic groups in one night, without any animosity. The organizers give time to each group to show some aspects of their culture”, he added.
Spectators did not only get to watch dancers perform, they could taste traditional dishes, attend concerts and buy handicrafts.
Celebrating Africa’s cultures
The presence of different African nationals during this year’s carnival was a source of pride for the organizers.
“We have people from Cape Verde a nation not far from here, we’re hosting Nigerians, Gambians, we have a lot of people who have come to integrate our carnival and also to show their culture,” Abdoulaye Dione a member of the organization teams explained.
“I won’t even say we are promoting Senegalese culture but rather Africa.”
The event which is organized in partnership with the Senegalese Ministry of culture and the city of Dakar is gaining popularity.
Local spectators hope it will attract tourists and why not become one day as famous as other major carnival festivals around the world.
“I speak with a lot of emotion as a Senegalese, we are very happy to see all this mixing”, attendee Dabel Ndiaye says. “We call on everyone to come more, we would like it to be like the great carnival of Rio, of Brazil.”
In order to support the men and women keeping alive Senegal’s traditions, the Dakar carnival rewards 10 people with culture and heritage awards. They are endowed with 10,000,000 CFA Francs.