With 54 countries and 2000 languages being spoken, Africa is a rich continent, full of culture, history and beauty. One of these countries is Ethiopia. While doing my research, I realised there are so many things I never knew about Ethiopia before and its culture and history. For example, I never knew that Ethiopia is the only African country to have never been colonised. Or that there are thirteen months in the Ethiopian calendar so while here we are in 2022, they are in 2014. Here are some of the things I like about Ethiopian Culture:
- Its love for festivals
Ethiopia is known for being a country full of colourful festivals, with its culture stemming from celebration. One of the biggest festivals is the three-day annual festival, Timket, that celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ in the river Jordan. During this, thousands of locals dress in white traditional clothes and walk the streets of Ethiopia.
- Its deep-rooted history and traditions
Because of its long-standing independence, Ethiopia differs from other African countries in customs and ways of living. Having a different calendar, different way of interpreting the 24-hours clock and its own ancient alphabet, shows just a few of the ways through which Ethiopia has maintained its authenticity and traditions over the years.
- Its cuisine
Ethipoia’s cuisine is also knows as being “a vegetarian’s haven”. Due to their strong religion beliefs that prohibits them from eating animal products on Wednesdays and Fridays, Ethiopian cuisine is very vegan and vegetarian friendly, and I think that is really cool.
- Its united people
One of the things I kept finding when researching Ethiopian culture is the mention of its strong, united people. A patriotism, that is rarely found in today’s world, is one of the things I like most about Ethiopian culture. All its people are proud of their country and their origins, making Ethiopia one of the most unique countries in today’s world in my eyes. Their pride comes from the fact that they are one of the few countries untouched by Western influences and the long-standing reign of the Ethiopian Empire throughout history. Their religion is another source of pride that unites them, being one of the first countries to proclaim themselves Orthodox Christian.
‘Yilungta’ is what Ethiopians consider the concept of generosity and selflessness. Without a direct translation, ‘yilungta’ is the concern towards others regardless of your own situation and it is a value that the Ethiopian community lives by. Thus, making their people more inclusive and hospitable due to the community values that they all share. I think more of us should aim to have ‘yilungta’ in our lives and communities.
Black History Month is about learning the history and culture that modern world education failed to teach us. Ethiopian culture is so different from my culture, yet so beautiful in its own way. It is one of the many cultures and places that I was not taught about enough as a child and I am happy I got to learn about it now. I could only mention a few things about this diverse country and its culture, but there is so much more that should be known.
Read about a new culture, learn how to cook traditional food, watch a documentary about a culture you have never thought of exploring before. This month is for learning, cherishing and sharing Black Culture and History!