I bought this necklace while I was in another West African country and wore it for the first time a week ago. But I was surprised to find out that here it wasn’t seen as a necklace. I had two different people question me about it, thinking that it was something else. This “something else” doesn’t have a name in English and doesn’t exist in my American world. It looks like this necklace, but is worn around a girl’s waist, under her clothes. I was told that it used to be used as a fetish, or good luck charm, and some people still wear it for that reason. But I know that at least some Christian girls wear it as well, and I was told that that was just to look pretty. (I know what you’re thinking – how does it look pretty when it’s under the clothes of even little girls and no one is supposed to see it. I don’t know the answer.) Whether the Christian girls do just wear it to look pretty or whether they still believe that it gives some kind of good luck, I don’t know. I do know that I’m not planning on wearing that necklace again in My Country, at least not any time soon.
As you can see, I’ve been learning more culture and language since I’ve been back here. Last Wednesday I also learned the significance of blinking. If someone is saying something or doing something and you don’t agree, you can look at someone else and blink at each other. That means that you both agree that you don’t agree with the person or really care what she’s saying.