In The Gambia, everyone gets new clothes and shoes to wear to the prayer grounds and out to greet neighbors. The kids get so dressed up they are practically unrecognizable in their fancy clothes and gaudy make up. And to be honest, although it’s not the intent, some do actually look scary. Instead of parading around for candy, though, they ask for “salibo,” any small amount of money neighbors are willing to give.
As we dressed for the cultural show, my mother draped strings of beads around my neck and across my chest in a traditional Jola fashion. She stood back, looked at me and sucked her teeth. “Ahaaaaa,” she said. “Nice, nice! My toma will be first.”