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Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country located in West Africa. The country is known for its vibrant, colorful and elegant life.

1. In the 16th century when the Portuguese visited the country’s coast, the fishermen said “sunu gaal”, which translates into “these are our boats”. The Portuguese, who understood nothing, simply named their land “Senegal”. Classic colonizers!!

2. The capital of Senegal is the port city of Dakar. Its history has shaped it to be one of the most liberal and cosmopolitan cities of Africa.

3. Senegal’s national flag bears three colors; red, yellow and green. They are the official Pan-African colors and a star at the middle represents universal unity.

4. Senegal, being a Muslim country, takes its sacrifices very seriously. The Tabaski or Eid al-Adha is a time when sheep and goats sell like hot cakes when every family wants an animal to sacrifice. 

5. The Senegalese coast was the filming backyard of the French movie industry. From 1960 to 1970, Senegal saw a film industry saw a mini-renaissance.

6. In contemporary times, Senegal is very close to France. In fact, the very flag of Senegal has adopted the French Tricolore style. So the flags of both look the same, except for the color.

7. Senegal’s French connection has improved its movie-industry drastically. The Black Girl (1966), is the first Sub-Saharan African film by an African filmmaker to compete with the global cinema standards.

8. The “Gateway to Africa” tag was earned due to the presence of the Senegal River, due to which the Portuguese and the French were able to make inroads to Sudan and Central Africa.

Source: The Fact File