Posts Tagged ‘Mali’

CultureGrams: Frou-Frou Recipe

Malian woman prepares frou-frou to sell. Image via CultureGrams

Malian woman prepares frou-frou to sell. Image via CultureGrams                  

Who doesn’t love pancakes? In Mali, millet pancakes, or frou-frou, are a very popular street food.  People often stop on their way to work and buy frou-frou and tea from street vendors.

Enjoy this authentic Malian recipe for frou-frou from CultureGrams‘ collection of hundreds of recipes from around the world.


2 cups millet, bean, or wheat flour
1 teaspoon okra powder
1 teaspoon salt
Water, as needed
Oil, as needed

1) Mix dry ingredients.
2) Add enough water to achieve a dough-like consistency.
3) Beat the dough vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes to aerate.
4) Heat oil in a pot with a rounded bottom or in a tin with rounded holds that can be placed over a flame.
5) Add spoonfuls of dough to the hot oil. Remove from pan or tin when dough is fried on both sides and cooked through the middle, approximately 2 or 3 minutes for each cake.
6) Serve hot or cold and with salt or sugar sprinkled on top.

CultureGrams: 174 New Videos!

We’ve recently added 174 new videos to the CultureGrams video collection! These unique videos, produced by CultureGrams editors from footage submitted from contributors around the world, highlight many aspects of daily life and culture for 16 countries.

Watch young dancers perform in Côte d’Ivoire . . .


vendors sell their goods at a floating market in Thailand . . .


men weave cloth in Guinea-Bissau . . .


and people celebrate New Year’s in Cambodia . . .

You can also visit the traditional Malian drummer Boubou in his mud  house, learn how to make Colombia’s national dish of sancocho, shop at a fish market in Sri Lanka, root for South African veterinarians as they try to guide a sedated rhino into a trailer, and much more.

Special thanks to our prolific contributor Salym Fayad for providing beautiful, culturally important footage for so many of these videos.

All 612 videos in the CultureGrams collection are available for streaming and download in QT/MP4 and WMV formats. Feel free to incorporate these videos into presentations or use them for other educational purposes. Or watch them just for the fun of it. After all, it doesn’t get much better than a Thai hotel clerk singing karaoke at his desk while being bathed in a light show of his own creation.

Salym Fayad: CultureGrams Contributor

We would not be able to maintain CultureGrams’ focus on daily life across the world without the individual contributors we rely on to provide unique cultural content. And the contributor who has submitted the most multimedia to the site—including over 2,000 photos of some 40 countries—is Salym Fayad.


Salym sits in a home in Gao, Mali, in a photo taken by his host’s young son.

CultureGrams editors work to solicit photos and videos that avoid tourist sites and news events and instead reveal the details that make up the fabric of a culture. Finding such materials for Africa is especially challenging, since, as Salym points out, Western media often portray Africa as a single region plagued by famine and violence instead of the complex, culturally rich continent of over 50 countries that it is.

Having traveled to and photographed nearly half of those countries, Salym is an expert at capturing elements of culture that make each place unique, including the way people dress, their gestures, personalities, interactions, and environments.

Though some formal training and an artistic eye help, his photographic success rests on something more fundamental: he is genuinely interested in people and shows it. Before taking pictures, he tries to create an atmosphere of comfort and trust, which often involves mingling with people for a while before he starts shooting and showing them the photos as he goes. His trips are also well researched ahead of time so that he has an understanding of the places he visits and an idea of what to look for.


Based in South Africa but a nomad by nature, Salym has also traveled extensively in Latin America and Europe and has recently started exploring Asia. The route to his current profession has been nomadic as well. He was educated in literature and philosophy in his native Colombia and worked at jobs like waiting tables and DJing before beginning to cover Sub-Saharan Africa as a freelance journalist.

In addition to his photography work (which also includes CultureGrams video), Salym regularly contributes articles on topics with cultural dimensions to several Latin American publications and facilitates musical exchanges between Colombia and South Africa.

Salym’s work can be consuming, but that’s a good thing because it combines those things he loves most: travelling, music, people, Africa, and—luckily for CultureGrams—taking pictures.