The Glory of YEKATIT 11 Commemorated in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Zerisenay Berhane

March 05 2009

Yekatit 11, the legendary day that marked the birth of a popular movement, 34 years ago, in the northern part of Ethiopia against a brutal dictator regime, the Derg, which later joined hands with other similar movements from all over the country and concluded the war with a shining victory over the junta’s ‘mighty army’ was colorfully celebrated on Feb. 28/2009 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Supporters of the struggle from all over the country and invited guests were in attendance. The celebration begun with a minute silence to remember and honor those that paid their life for the cause. A brief note about the day and its implications to present day Ethiopia in light of the long way journey towards democratization, peace and stability, development, and nation building efforts was aired by the guest of honor of the day, his Excellency, Ambassador Berhane G.kirstos. He reminded citizens to work hard and remain focused so as to repeat the shining victory of YEKATIT 11 on the “number one” enemy of the country, poverty. The self motivated organizing committee, as was later communicated to the audience, also briefed participants about the day and noted the need to keep up the noble tradition of remembering the heroes and heroines that passed on the rough road towards realizing the present day peace and stability in the country.

On stage was one of the celebrated singers born in the struggle, Berhane G/selassie, otherwise known as SHUMUYE, presenting his and other fighter-singers’ songs. No wonder, he was successful to move his audience, at times, taking every one back in time to those days history was in a making. Popular melodies, like ‘wufer tebeges’ and ‘ember tegadalay´ stirred the audience reminiscent of the past, reminding all those enormous commitments, sense of duty, and the sacrifices paid thereof. It was a mind replenishing and refreshing event!

Finally, the participants thanked the highly motivated group of individuals who form the organizing committee for devoting their time and resources to make the day such a remarkable. Definitely, the celebration was a tremendous success, renewing commitments and giving huge tribute to the shining victory. No question, it has left its great legacy on every ones mind, particularly on those youngsters born and brought up in the Diaspora.

Zerisenay Berhane, one of the participants.