Ethnic Serer young girl from The Gambia, West Africa.

Ethnic Serer young girl from The Gambia, West Africa.


Ethnic Serer young girl from The Gambia, West Africa. Serer people of Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania speak Serer language, which is also called Serer-Sine "Serer proper" (Seereer-Siin, etc.) after its prestige dialect. Serer language belongs to Senegambian branch of Niger–Congo phylum spoken by 2 million million people in Sine-Saloum, Kaolack, Diourbel, and Dakar in Senegal and 40,000 in the Gambia and a sizable number of over 4000 in Mauritania. Some Serers speak the Serer language. Some speak the Cangin languages such as Ndut and Saafi although all are ethnically Serers.

The Serer language is characterised by consonant mutation, and it is written from left to write based on the Latin alphabet. It is one of the recognized languages of Senegal. There are various dialects of Serer with Serer-Sine being the prestige dialect.
The following greetings and responses are spoken in most regions of Senegal that have Serer speakers.
Nam fi'o? (pronounced nam feeyoh) = How are you doing? Mexe meen. (pronounced may hay men) = I am here.
Ta mbind na? (pronounced, tah mbind nah) = How is the family? Owa maa. (pronounced owa maa) = It is good.
In Senegalese culture, greetings are very important. Sometimes, people will spend several minutes greeting each other.
The creation story of the Serer people is intricately linked to the first trees created on Planet Earth by Roog. Earth's formation began with a swamp. The Earth was not formed until long after the creation of the first three worlds: the waters of the underworld; the air which included the higher world (i.e. the sun, the moon and the stars) and earth. Roog is the creator and fashioner of the Universe and everything in it. The creation is based on a mythical cosmic egg and the principles of chaos.


BY: Kweku Darko Ankrah

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