This very controversial"African Renaissnace Monument" is supposed-to-be the symbol of Senegal like the Statue of LIberty in NewYork or the Eiffel towel in Paris. The reason I said 'supposed-to-be' is because unlike other symbols in the toursit site in other countries where the symbol is respected and loved by its people, this one is not so much loved (or rather hated)by Senegalese. The president of the country AbdoulayeWade forced to build this monument when most of the citizens were against it. The country spent 27 million dollars to build this when many of its people and children are starving on the street. The tour guide, Ley told us that the initial idea of building this monument was to commemorate the independence and also to bring the hope to Senegalese and other Africans. It was a good intention but 27 million dollars is not a little money. With that much money, they could have either spent it to support the child education or to develop the civil service. The point is that the country could have spent it more wisely to than to just built the monument to attract tourist.
It's my third day in Senegal and I don't like the Senegalese government and the politicians who are only in the position to satisfy themselves and not the people.
After visiting the African Renaissance Monument, we went to a cathedral in downtown. The first thing I noticed is the appearance of little statues of saints on the wall of the cathedral. Unlike the ones I saw before in other western countries, the saints had typical African look. The face was round with think lips and curly hair. When we went inside the chapel, the people in the paintings were all black too. I was really surprised to see the difference between the Korean christianity and the Senegalese christianity. In Korea, the people in the Christian paintings are all white or same race as the one you could see in western Christian arts. The people in the paintings are not Asians but still Koreans hang them on the wall of chapels or churches and respect the religion without any problems. For me, it was normal to see and accept the Christian paintings as it is in Korea since no other Korean Christians had a problem with it. However, I guess it is different in Senegal. I guess it was easier to have Africans in the paintings to spread the religion or to attract people to become Christians when they saw the paintings wih the same race in it. I wasn't offended by the paintings or anything but it was just strange and made me think how the same religion ended up having different style/approach to attract people in two different continents.
In front of the presidential house
The president of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade
The appearance and the structure of the presidential house was very similar to the White House in the states. Also, the guard in front of the fence looked similar to the ones in the Buckingham Palace, which we concluded it as the result of French and Westernization influence.