PEOPLE AND CULTURE
Ethiopia is the only African country by having its own calendaring system, the Ethiopian calendar is much more similar to the Egyptian Coptic calendar, it has 13 months and 365 days and 366 days in the leap year (in every four year). The Ethiopian calendar is seven years and eight months behind the Gregorian calendars. The Ethiopian calendar has 13 months, and each month consists of 30 days each and the last month (the 13th) Pagumiene. the Last month has 5 days and 6 days in the leap year (in every four year). This calendar is now used for both by the Ethiopian Orthodox church and for the civil calendar.
Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with a grate variety of language spoken in the country of which 83 different languages with 200 dialects. The largest ethnic and linguistic groups are the Oromos, Amharas and Tigrayans. Ge’ez is an ancient language that was introduced during the Axumit regime as an official written language. The Axumit developed Ge'ez, a unique script derived from the Sabean alphabet, Ge’ez is a mother of Tigrinya and Amharic are the modern languages which are derived from Ge'ez. Amharic is the official national language of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian languages are divided into four major language groups. These are Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic, and Nilo-Saharan. English, Arabic, Italian and French are widely spoken by many Ethiopians.
Ethiopian people and Culture:
Ethiopia has different ethnic groups with different cultural back grounds; there are almost 80 different ethnic groups each with its own language, culture, custom and tradition. From this the most remarkable one is the literature, in the history of Ethiopia Ge’ez has a great role especially for the Ethiopian orthodox church, Ge’ez is one of the oldest language in the world , which was used during the Axumit period for both spoken and literature language. Now Ge’ez is used for Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This Ge’ez is the mother of Tigrinya and Amharic language and both languages used the characters Ge’ez for writing.
Men and women have their own role in Ethiopia; women are responsible for domestic work in their house like cooking and looking after the children. Men are responsible for providing supplies for the family and dealing any thing on behalf of the family outside home. Parents are stricter on their daughters than their son. Boys have more freedom than women in most Ethiopian culture.
The traditional Ethiopian costume is made o woven cotton, from this cotton there are different kinds of products that used for different purpose, the most conmen one is gabbi or Netella, women’s wears different dresses and nettella with colorful borders of colored embroidered with different design. Other Ethnic groups in south and west of the country wear depending on their environment, and there are also some people merely decorating their faces and bodies with distinctive images.
one of the staple food of Ethiopia is INJERA (Traditional Large spongy pancake mad of Teff flour and water), Teff is grown on the Ethiopian highlands. INJERA is served with hot spicy stew called WAT, and it ahs many verities, like lentils, ground split peas stewed, beef, lamb, vegetables and chicken. Traditional Ethiopian meals is served with Mesob (large basket tray), and normally they food is eating with the fingers by tearing off the piece of Injera and dipping it in the wat. Ethiopian Orthodox Church does not eat meat and diary products on Wednesday and Friday, Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christians, Jews and Muslims do not eat pork as it forbidden by their religious beliefs.
Normally in Ethiopia there are some locally produced beverages like tella and tej, which are served and drunk on major religious festivals, and weddings.
- Ethiopian Coffee: Coffee is one of the most important drink in every family of the Ethiopian. And this coffee has it’s won unique ceremony, and this ceremony has its own steps. The step will be the coffee is roasted, then ground and placed in a coffee pot with boiling water. Then it will become ready it is then served to people in little cups, up to three times per ceremony.
Traditionally the Ethiopian Christian Marriages is arranges by families, wit the grate deal of negotiation, virginity ahs a grate role and value for marriage, if the bride is not virgin it is shamed for the whole family, country-side women are tend to marry at a very early age than their husband. Families usually will make investigation before they engage to their son; the other families are not related by the blood. Normally they researched almost about seven generation. After passing this process the boy’s family will send an elder to the perspective bride’s family. When both families reach an agreement, the man and the women get engaged. The family will start preparation for weeding by setting the exact date of the wedding. Then the husband usually excepted to brig a the bride's parents give the groom a dowry, in most case it might be money or cattle, both families preparer food and drinks and they will invite their relatives and some people very cloth to them, then the groom will bring the bride to his parents house, he is expected to takes the bride’s virginity. After some day the couple will return to the house of the bride's parents where they stay together for a set time, again with the best men present. Presently bridals and grooms have a right to choose their life partner, but family approval has a great role.
Muslim marriages allows the husband to marry more than one wife in their religion, in Muslim community the larger the number of the children is the higher the status of the family, therefore they will have more children and they will have up to four wives. According to the religion women will not own any things.
Religion has a grate role in Ethiopia history, Ethiopian is a country where the Christian and Muslims live with harmony. The main religion in Ethiopia is Christianity, Islam and paganism. Predominantly it is a Christian country, then majority is the Ethiopian Orthodox church with the minority of the Roman Catholic and protestant.
Christianity was introduce as an official religion during he 4th Century by Frumentius. Frumentius preached the king about Christianity and king Ezana was successfully converted to Christianity, then he decaled officially that Christianity is the religion of the kingdom. Then Frumentius went to Egypt Alexandria and He, himself was consecrated as a bishop under the name Abba Selama. Then he become the first Ethiopian Bishop, after that during the 6th Century there were nine saint who came from Syrian played a grate role spreading Christianity to different parts of the country by preaching a gospel and planting churches on the non Christian area. After that Ethiopia become one of the powerful Christian kingdoms.
Islam was introduced to Ethiopia during Axumit regime in 615 AD when the followers of Prophet Mohammed, refuge to Ethiopia. This was an early settlement of Isam in Ethiopian, after that Mohamed and his followers returned to Mecca, then after that Isam was reintroduce to Ethiopia, but they were only successful to convert the eastern and south eastern part of the country, northern Ethiopian because Christianity has deeply rooted they couldn’t penetrate.