By Tsehaye Debalkew
May 06, 2012
A-day-long annual event dubbed "Passport DC, Around the World Embassy Tour" highlighting Ethiopian cultural and social extravaganza which attracted more than five thousand residents of the Washington Metropolitan hub was colorfully held in the premises of the Chancery of the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington Dc. today, May 5, 2012.
The festival was accompanied by a colorful display of Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony, authentic and organic Ethiopian cuisine, raw and roasted Ethiopian coffee, and other cultural and modern Ethiopian beverages. Ethiopian Honey Wine, accompanied by traditional songs and aesthetics, exemplifying the special Ethiopian blend of cuisine, music, art and culture gave the occasion an aura of festivity.
The open house program was also given an added color by the presentation by vendors of Ethiopian made Apparel Products, Traditional Costumes, Spices, Coffee Beans, Souvenirs, Artifacts & Hand woven bags designed by local Ethiopian seamstress, Ethiopian music CDs and DVDs, Children's books and other tools of learning and delicious Ethiopian cookies and pastries.
The occasion that included live modern and traditional music by Ethiopian artists and musicians gave a robust impetus to the celebration with recorded ancient Ethiopian album. Cooking demonstration and Ethiopian Coffee roasting and sample drinking were some of the activities of the full day celebratory get- together. The occasion showcased that Ethiopia is a country with a wealth of cultural milieu and exotic fauna and flora.
The visitors who have been skyrocketing in number since the program was launched four years ago were entertained by an array of other activities including a visit of the pictorial Art and historical exhibition and on screen displays depicting the rich and diverse historical, cultural, wildlife, and environmental heritage of Ethiopia with amicable people and the country's changing image into a booming 21st century nation.
A slide and film presentation also brought to light the current multi-faceted endeavor demonstrating the strides being registered through the Growth and Transformation Plan in general and the Grand Renaissance Dam presently in full gear and the overall impressive results attained in good governance, democracy, justice and peace.
Ambassador Tebeje Berhe, Head of the Political Affairs Department of the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Washington DC., addressing the touring visitors, said that Ethiopia is endowed with a wealth of natural attractions coupled with a mix of its diverse peoples and cultures and a multitude of religious and traditional ritual beliefs. He added that it is a land of the legendary Queen of Sheba, home of the biblical Ark of the Covenant, the source of the Blue Nile/ the mighty and tumultuous African river/, and the birth place of coffee-Ethiopia's gift to the world.
Referring to a unique historical feature that characterizes Ethiopia, Ambassador Tebeje reminisced by saying , "It may be a surprise to many of you to know that Ethiopia is the first and perhaps the only pioneering country on Earth that has accepted Islam as a religion and Faith without war".
In reference to contemporary Ethiopia, the Political Department Chief apprised the audience that Ethiopia has opened a new chapter in its history and the world is witnessing that we are both a nation with solid history and an impeccable tradition with a rising economy setting a new standard for Africa.
He further stated that Ethiopia has registered a double digit economic growth for the last nine consecutive years earning it to be among the fastest in the world and double the African average positioning itself among the fastest growing economies of the globe.
On hand to welcome the touring visitors were the entire staff members of the Ethiopian Embassy who were adorned with varieties of traditional attires and cultural costumes, Ms. Linda D. Harper, Executive Director, Cultural Tourism DC., and Ms. Jan Du Plain, Embassy Liaison for Passport, DC.
More than Seventy Embassies and dozens of cultural institutions in the Washington Metro Area participate in the annual "Around the World Embassy Tour". The event takes place throughout the month of May signifying celebration of international culture in the nation's capital portraying a chance to travel the world without leaving DC.