“Tea Is Calling to People”: Tea Communities, Street Meals, and Local Policies in West Africa
[“Chai zovet liudei”: chainye gruppy, gorodskie trapezy i nizovaia politika v Zapadnoi Afrike]
Type of publication: Research Article
West Africa, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, tea, tea communities, street meals, social hierarchies, male communication, age stratification, local policies
Tea making and communal tea drinking in West Africa is a notable sociological phenomenon. It is a real spectacle comprising a variety of actions, skills, sensory and social experience of the participants. Tea, which used to be an imported exotic commodity, has turned into what may be properly called national drink, gaining popularity among people of different walks. Consumption of tea has become an important social practice at the juncture of food and communication; it has connected the social and sensory habits and dispositions of those who make tea and those who drink it. Furthermore, the democratization of tea has brought along the democratization of meal as a particular form of social life. Today, tea also features prominently in the cultural production of imagined communities and the shaping of touristic image of the region – it has become part of the invented tradition, which makes it a subject worthy of detailed scholarly investigation.
Bondaz, J. 2019. “Chai zovet liudei”: chainye gruppy, gorodskie trapezy i nizovaia politika v Zapadnoi Afrike [“Tea Is Calling to People”: Tea Communities, Street Meals, and Local Policies in West Africa]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 2: 32-42. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150004882-0
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