1. It is cold. I think this is because all white people come from Europe. People often ask us if we are coping with the heat. They are very surprised when we tell them that Australia is hotter than Tanzania and when they worry about us getting burnt because of our white skin we tell them about Australia’s ozone hole.
2. There are lots of Christians. This may be because many white people in Tanzania are missionaries. Many Tanzanians are shocked to hear of dying churches and the low numbers of churchgoers in Australia. This actually opens up wonderful opportunities for us to encourage Tanzanians that Australian Christians have much to learn from them.
3. Men and women share housework and childcare. This is kind of a half-truth. Some men are involved in childcare in Australia, but women still bear the brunt of both housework and childcare, even if they work and even if their marriage claims to be egalitarian. One thing I often point out is that many women feel subject to public scrutiny and condemnation because of these choices.
*Obviously a generalisation and not indicative of every Tanzanian, but these are pretty common conversations that we have, even with university educated people. Much of what we do on our blog is also trying to overcome stereotypes that Australians have about Tanzanians too.
Categories: Tanzania Written by Tamie
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.
If the collective memory of Tanzanians goes back to before sunscreen was widely used, they would remember many white people staying there suffering from sunburn.