Friday, September 18, 2009

Marché HLM

This past week marked the last of Ramadan. To celebrate the end of a month of fasting, each family has a big “fête” (party) called Korité, which falls on Sunday this year (or probably on Sunday, as long as the moon appears on Saturday night). In preparation, I went to a market last weekend with my host brother to buy fabric to bring to a tailor to have a dress made for Korité. What an experience! The market, Marché HLM, is the biggest one in the city for fabrics and shoes, and it was bustling with activity given the upcoming celebration. I honestly have never seen so many people or such a wide variety of fabrics in my life! There was barely enough room to walk along the small market streets, each side lined by tents filled with sequins, tie-dye, and colorful designs. My host brother led me through a maze of small shops and wandering vendors, and after nearly an hour of wandering and nearly getting lost, I picked out a fabric I liked and bargained for the lowest price possible.

Later that evening, I brought my newly purchased fabric to a tailor that lives in my neighborhood. She took my measurements for a traditional Senegalese outfit (in this case, a skirt/shirt combination) to be ready on Saturday, just in time for Korité. This party has been all the talk this week. I have been warned that I will be pretty much eating nonstop for the entire day, I guess to make up for a month of fasting!

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