Disclaimer: Devoted Grandma is reader-supported. If you purchase anything through my site, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Thank you.
Today, we’re going on a little cultural journey to Senegal, in West Africa, where grandmothers rule the roost with a kind of authority that might just put this old granny to shame. Let’s unpack this intriguing matriarchal mystery.
In my little corner of the world, a grandmother’s power can usually be measured by the size of her cookie jar or the warmth of her hugs. But in Senegal, grandmothers are so much more than just cookie connoisseurs and cuddle experts – they’re the glue that holds the family together, the backbone of the community, and the wisdom keepers of the society.
In Senegal and other parts of West Africa, grandmothers play an enormous role in decision-making processes within the family, often having the final say on issues ranging from child-rearing and education to health care and nutrition. Yes, you heard that right. While I’m here struggling to get my grandkids to eat their veggies, my Senegalese counterparts are determining nutritional policies for their entire families!
These women are so influential that organizations like ChildFund have created programs that actively involve grandmothers in community development initiatives. Recognizing their power and influence, ChildFund taps into their wisdom and knowledge to promote and improve child health and well-being.
It’s an incredible system, really. Their authority is respected and revered, and it’s rooted in a rich cultural tradition that values the wisdom and experience that comes with age. They are the custodians of knowledge, the teachers of tradition, and the champions of change. Now, if only I could get my grandkids to respect my authority when it comes to turning off their video games…
So, there you have iit- a quick insight into the powerful world of Senegal’s super-grannies.
Despite the ribbing, I can’t help but admire these formidable women. Their authority and wisdom are seen not as something to be pushed aside in favor of youth, but rather as valuable resources to be cherished and utilized. It’s a lesson we could all stand to learn.
And who knows? Perhaps we might still have a few tricks up our sleeves. Maybe the next time my grandkids come visiting, I’ll channel my inner Senegalese grandmother and assert my authority. After all, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my West African sisters, it’s that age isn’t just a number – it’s a badge of honor, wisdom, and yes, authority. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I have some cookies to bake… and maybe a family nutritional policy to draft.