Tigray Festival In Washington DC, A Method For Nurturing Ethiopian culture and Unity.

By Solomon Gebre-Amelak

July 31 2008

Ethiopia is a huge country , gifted with many beautiful cultures and languages. These beautiful cultures and languages have different sounds, shapes, and norms that make Ethiopia unique and enviable. Unfortunately our naÔve professors and enemies have tried to use the beautiful aspects of Ethiopia, as its source of problem. The Professors and our enemies define our languages and cultures in the following way.

Our Enemies Definition: Hey ďyou Tigreans, Oromoís, Amharas, Somalis, Afar, you guys have a different languages and culture. Lets try to get you your own country so that way you can be proud of your languages and cultureĒ. By their definition these cultures and people could only enjoy their culture and language as separate nations.

Who gives ammunition to the enemies who try to define us? Unfortunately and sadly some of the most educated Ethiopians are the ammunition for our enemyís definition of our culture. Some educated elites try to define Ethiopia as one culture and langue in subtle means. These intellectuals try hard to suppress the cultural and linguistic expression of the beautiful cultures and languages of Ethiopians. To these intellectuals nationalism could only be achieved through one dominate culture and language. I say that is absolutely wrong. Nationalism in a country like Ethiopia can be nurtured and strengthened through the celebrations of the beautiful languages and cultures of Ethiopia. The feeling of mutual respects and appreciates will ultimately be the chain that will bind our nation. In order to build this chain we must plant the seeds of unity by celebrating all the languages and cultures of Ethiopia. If we underestimate the importance of appreciating each other cultures and languages, then we will find our selves becoming the tools of our enemies.

In this context, Festival Tigray which is annually celebrated in North America is a way to celebrate and appreciate the culture and language of our brothers and sisters who are found in Northern Ethiopia. During this festival, the Tigrigna language and culture is transferred to the next generation of Ethiopians. During this occasion our other sister languages and cultures are also appreciated and acknowledged as well. In fact, itís the composition of the different music beat, and languages that make Festival Tigray a fun celebration.

Our brothers and sisters from Northern Ethiopia, Eastern Ethiopia, Southern Ethiopia, and Western Ethiopia, come and celebrate the culture and language of Tigrigna. On my part, I wish there will be many festival and gathering to cherish and celebrate all the languages and cultures of Ethiopia. Yes, of course itís important that we have an Ethiopia wide cultural and musical celebration, but itís still ok and safe to let one culture and language shine on a specific occasion. Itís important that we allow our brothers and sisters from all the corners of Ethiopia to shine, to teach us their perspective languages and cultures. Remember brothers, sisters, friends bond, when they share their passion with each other. As brothers and sisters from the same nation all of us Ethiopians must share our cultural passion with our fellow Ethiopians. Let us remember that as much as Tigrinya language and culture is important to Tigreans, it is important to the rest of Ethiopia. The same is true for all the other languages and cultures of Ethiopia. The addition of all the cultures and languages is what makes Ethiopia a flavorful beauty.

So I say for Tigray Festival,
(Hezbi) (People)
Wenamat deiki bahili enhekom do
Neseslakoom tekadinkoom
Shish shihs enabelkoom
Bahili nay weledena amhooroonaski
Aye eze bhili nay waladena neblo kesbek

Bezaka derefe eski
Aye kalka ketem
Robatat adi eski aske

Adotat ( mothers )
Sasa Adotat
Telefken tekedenken
Kelbechken tokeninken

Abotat ( Fathers)
Sasoo eski
Koboro enwokako
Zelalu, koboro amokkoo

Menesay ( youngsters)
Takebekum Sahaku
Weledkum Keseo kelow gen Tazebu
Tsbah ( Tomorrow) hidre naye bahli kekowen eyu Natkum

Kolukum Dki adi Ethiopia , Deiki Abie Bahii Ekum.
Hadnetna, Bahelena, Kankona Kokowen Eyu Senatena.
Senatena Kokowen Eyu Merzi Seletena.