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Old 05-09-2013, 12:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
So lets just lump all of Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa together and call it one culture.
Like the poster "Caribdoll" said, it's sort of ironic how we don't really view Europe in the same context.

By the way people usually refer to India and nearby countries as South Asia. People look at countries like Nigeria and think "Sub-Saharan" first before they see the country as being a West African Nation. That the big difference!
Not really. West Africa is a fairly well defined area, that most people who are familiar with geography would understand(those that aren't familiar with geography really don't matter). I hear "West African" all the time to refer to food or music due to the cultural similarities between some of the countries in that region. East Africa is another area that is referred to and understood for the most part as containing the Horn of Africa along with the other coastal states on the Indian Ocean nearby like Kenya and Tanzania. Central and Southern Africa(not just South Africa) are a little harder to define, though the Congo is usually understood as being part of "Central Africa".

Sub-Saharan Africa is basically a large cultural grouping, like saying the Middle East or East Asia.

Eurasia is basically just one continent as well that we've decided to divide into Europe and Asia--which is basically a division of the non-European cultures to the east of Europe. However, the Ural Mountains or the Caucaus or the Bosphorous are actually less of a barrier and division than the Sahara in many ways. Africa north of the Sahara has traditionally been sort of cut off by the vast desert from the south and more oriented around the Mediterranean--thus there's places where more cultural similarities and ties with the Mediterranean Basin than further south.
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
First of all, linguistically, the people of sub-saharan Africa all speak a language from the Niger-Congo language group, everywhere from Senegal to Tanzania to Cape Town, the only exceptions being the Kalahari region of (obviously and conspicuously) unrelated peoples.
Niger
The Berbers, Tuaregs and others in and north of the Sahara speak a language related to Hebrew and Arabic.
Well if you want to divide the regions up by linguistic similarities, than countries like India and Pakistan should have the same cultural region as Europe since those countries are part of the Indo-European language family.

Quote:
The people of the entire sub-Saharan zone have more in common, culturally, than they do with the north Africans. Many elements of their culture, unique to Africa, follow similar attributes throughout sub-sahara.
Yes as we all know Sub-Saharan Africa is the true part of Africa. Lets disassociated the indigenous culture of the Berbers and Tuareg tribes from the continent of Africa. Lets forget that parts of West and Central Africa are located in the Sahara desert and that "Black African" tribes have lived there for thousands of years. Lets just ignore those factors and just label the continent as either "Sub-Saharan" or Saharan Africa.

Quote:
And we do view Europe in the same context. Around the world, Italians and Dutch and Poles and Irish are viewed as having significant cultural similarities, compared to Africans and Asians. And nearly all European languages come from the same Indo-European root, with basic fundamental similarities that distinguish them from all other world languages. Even though they may have evolved into modern languages that are no longer mutually intelligible.
We certainly do not view Europe in the same context as Africa. If that was the case than we would divide Europe into two regions called "Mediterranean Europe and Non-Mediterranean Europe." Mediterranean Europe would be viewed as being more culturally/linguistically/racially tied to the Middle East and North Africa. The rest of Europe will be viewed as having more European culture than Mediterranean Europe. Non-Mediterranean Europe would be synonymous with being called "White Europe".

Quote:
What's the "big difference" between "South Asia" and "South of the Sahara Africa"?
What's the big difference between "South Asia" and North of the Mediterranean Europe?" As you can see when there is too much emphasis on the Mediterranean Sea which is similar to how too much emphasis is put on the Sahara desert.

Quote:
People really need to back away from their embedded political correctness and pay some attention to actual scholarship about cultural geography. Stop regarding all thinking and perceptive people as nefarious enemies setting out to destroy you.
Or maybe some people need to have a better understanding on history and why certain marginalized terms are viewed by the opposite perspective as having racial and insensitive connotations associated with them. It's just something to think about.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:11 PM
 
Location: West Coast
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I had initially created this thread to find out if I was accurate about the term being coined by Europeans because I have never met anyone from Africa saying that they were from 'sub saharan Africa'. They just say Africa, or Ghana, or Senegal, or Kenya, etc. Despite the geographic reference, it seems to be a divisive term in a sense. I suppose if I knew that this term was created by Africans themselves, then I would be more inclined to believe that it was strictly about geography. Definitions are very important, which is why people should be able to define their land in their own way.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy74 View Post
I had initially created this thread to find out if I was accurate about the term being coined by Europeans because I have never met anyone from Africa saying that they were from 'sub saharan Africa'. They just say Africa, or Ghana, or Senegal, or Kenya, etc. Despite the geographic reference, it seems to be a divisive term in a sense. I suppose if I knew that this term was created by Africans themselves, then I would be more inclined to believe that it was strictly about geography. Definitions are very important, which is why people should be able to define their land in their own way.
No one in Africa views themselves as having a "Sub-Saharan" culture. That is a Eurocentric construct.
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,627 posts, read 27,042,193 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
No one in Africa views themselves as having a "Sub-Saharan" culture. That is a Eurocentric construct.
Yep. Everybody that I know from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Ethiopia here in DC HATES the term and has no use for it. It is nonsense. Considering that there are millions of "Sub-Saharan Black" features (whatever that is) in Morroco, Libya and Egypt.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,221,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy74 View Post
I had initially created this thread to find out if I was accurate about the term being coined by Europeans .
It was coined by geographers and ethnographers, who are foolish enough to stand back and look at the whole world and then draw conclusions from what they see, instead of fitting everything into little compartments that Politically Correct influences try to force them to do. The same people who, motivated by some kind of nefarious hatred, classified Europeans as Latin, Nordic and Slavic, based on language and ingrained cultural attributes and, yes, physical appearance.

And yes, Europe was pretty much the epicenter of scholastic and academic inquiry into this and almost all other scientific study, so I suppose many of the grographers and etnnographers were Europeans. We wouldn't know much about geography and ethnography if the Europeans had just stood back and waited for the faculty at the University of Timbuctoo to travel to all corners of the globe to do all this research objectively and fairly, in order that we could know the truth instead of being misled.

Last edited by jtur88; 05-09-2013 at 05:33 PM..
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Caribbean
7,556 posts, read 2,427,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
No one in Africa views themselves as having a "Sub-Saharan" culture. That is a Eurocentric construct.
Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
Yep. Everybody that I know from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Ethiopia here in DC HATES the term and has no use for it. It is nonsense. Considering that there are millions of "Sub-Saharan Black" features (whatever that is) in Morroco, Libya and Egypt.
Yes! Because they clearly know and understand the diversity within the African continent while people who insist on the "subsaharan" label are willfully ignorant of it.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:58 AM
 
Location: New York City
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I work in Sub-Saharan Africa. The term is used all the time by local governments and international agencies (including the UN) because it's descriptive, specific and useful. It may have been patronizing, or even racist, at one point, but now it's a geographical description.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,186,968 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy74 View Post
Seems like something Europeans made up to cause division. Why not just say Africa, and leave it at that.
Sub-Saharan = Below the Saharan Desert.

The cultures North are mostly distinct and different from those South of the desert. It's a brilliant deduction made by rich, fat Victorian men while sitting in cushy leather chairs.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Jersey
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It actually brings up a directional bias as well. Why is North "up/above" and the South "down/below" when bringing up a latitude based reference? If what we call civilization mainly developed in the Southern Hemisphere, South could easily be "up" and North would be "down;" and what we understand as North Africa would be called "sub-Saharan" Africa instead.

Even though there is a Euro-centric and perhaps racist bias in the concept of "sub-Saharan Africa," there is a historical basis for the divide as everything "below" the Sahara aside from maybe the Horn of Africa region was largely outside of the historical and cultural realm of the Mediterranean meta-civilization.
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