The daily lifestyle of?? Is one of the contributing factors that makes it one of the best places to live. Tea is prepared and enjoyed in many places around the world, but in my town – ?? – Ataya tea it is a ceremony!
Ataya tea is one of the key elements of the famous Teranga, a hospitality so dear to the heart of the Senegalese people. Given its importance to the culture, the Ataya is above all a pretext for meeting and conversing, spending time together, and talking. It is also the time to network, to meet new people. It is a moment of great liveliness and friendship.
Each day during mid-afternoon until late evening, groups of young men, often joined by women, gather under the Palaver trees to meet and drink the Ataya. Sometimes, the guests will even share tea glasses with each other.
During festivals, the ‘Ataya’ serves to add garnish to the events. People are eager to prepare it after wrestling or soccer matches so they can discuss the competitions in true Senegalese fashion.
While drinking the tea, people follow a customary script: the first drink (Eweul) is bitter, the second (Niarel) is sweet, and the third (Tarhis) is very sweet.
Ordinarily, young men prepare the Ataya. It is extremely rare to see a father preparing tea. Many ‘old men’ do not wish to make the Ataya because they see the carefree happiness of a youth who cannot find anything better to do.
Both preparing and drinking the Ataya is a group activity, and it is not uncommon for many to take turns participating in its preparation. Moreover, it is not necessarily the inhabitants of the house who make the tea; guests are expected to help. Making the tea is mostly a masculine task, although girls help on some occasions.
The song “Ataya” of the Senegalese hip-hop group Positive Black Soul explains every aspect concerning the tea ceremony. There are even television shows that borrow the name Ataya, showing that it is more than a tea ceremony, it is an indispensable element of promoting peace and happiness in our country. When you go to Senegal, do not forget to take part in this important ritual!
Who is financing it?
In general all those who are present before the preparation or all the regulars participate financially to the purchase of the different ingredients of the ataya: the Saddam tea, the charcoal of the stove, the sugar and the mint. The price of an afternoon ataya for five or six people rarely exceeds € 1.5. The participation of each one is therefore rather weak. The most destitute will not necessarily pay.
If its preparation and its financing are not unanimous one realizes that its tasting is much more divided! Women, men, old and young people appreciate the vast majority of ataya. The oldest masters and mistress of houses are never part of the gathering gathered around the stove and they are brought their tea glass by one of the young participants. The guests or friends of passage are also offered to share the beverage leaving to share a drink with several. “Kids” are not entitled to this honor until they have three hairs on their chins….
Usually all those present at the beginning of the meeting and who can do so contribute financially to the purchase of the different ingredients:
Green tea (warga), sugar (soucar), mint (nana) and coal from the stove (Kerin).
Its preparation and its tasting, always accompanied by long discussions.
It then incorporates the tea and constantly monitors, to remove the teapot from the fire as soon as the water begins to shudder: Tea must boil but never overflow!
He then mixes the decoction by pouring it into the glasses and raising the teapot from the bottom to the top without ever spilling the tea next to it.
The goal is to get both a beautiful foam and a slight cooling of the tea.
At this point, he poured all the tea into the teapot and began the operation again.
It is therefore necessary to take the time to sit under the palaver tree or in the courtyard of the concession to spend a peaceful afternoon.