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Oct. 6, 2004

Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

by Fidan Karimova, Page Editor
Teenagers from and in Ethiopia, just like their peers all over the world, like to talk about their hobbies and interests, and about the life that surrounds them:

Kedest Guetahune (12 – in Ethiopia)

A few of my hobbies include watching movies, listening to rock music, and playing basketball.  What I like most about Ethiopia is the people – they are very friendly.  I also like the beautiful weather and the countryside, full of grassland.  I do think that America has an impact on the Ethiopian teenagers, because first the way they dress is completely American. Then it's the language, I mean the way they talk just like the black Americans in America, using slang and "nasty" words.  And finally, every Ethiopian with exceptions wants to go to America, even the ones who are in the countryside.

Nigest Alene (10th – in Ethiopia)

My hobbies are – drawing and reading books about cooking.

I think there is a difference between American movies and Ethiopian movies. Ethiopian movies are limited in everything - we don't have bad language and sexual situations as American movies do. I don't mean that our movies are completely free of bad language, but it is more evident in the American movies, and that could change teenagers in a bad way.

In our school, all subjects, except Amharic, are given in English. We take math, Amharic and English daily. Other classes, such as physics, biology and chemistry and PE, depend on the schedule. Eleventh and 12th grades serve as a preparatory program for college. We also have school sports: soccer, basketball and ground tennis.

There is pressure from teachers to do well at school, but mostly the student care about their education because the policy became more restricted and it is harder to stay in high school.
In Ethiopia we have the normal four seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn, but the weather is not similar to the weather in the U.S.  During the winter, we have heavy rain instead of snow.

Bezawit Sabeteshi (12th grade – in USA)

I came to America two and a half years ago, in 2001.  I really like some things here, but I also like many things in Ethiopia.  I find schools in Ethiopia harder, compared to schools here.  But the good thing about schools there, at least in mine, is that they never gave us homework and I could always hang out with my friends. 

I think the teenagers in Ethiopia and here are very similar.  They both like listening to rap music and use slang.  But at the same time teenagers in Ethiopia know more music than teenagers here. 

One major difference between Ethiopia and America is the government.  The government in Ethiopia is probably the worst government in the world. 

Michael Firrisa (12th grade – in USA)

I came to America when I was seven years old. I think America is the greatest place to live, it isn't in anyway perfect, but it sure beats other places. America is very different from my birth place, Ethiopia. In the US your rights are respected most of the time and you are treated like a human being. In Ethiopia the government treats you however it pleases, and if you think the police in America are bad you haven't got a clue as to how serious it could be. I remember the first day I arrived in the US; I wanted to go back to Ethiopia immediately. I missed my relatives and friends I left behind. Now, Ethiopia is just a vague memory, there isn't much I miss except my family. I lived here for ten years so I have been accustomed to America, and it has become my home. My parents on the other hand pray for the day when things get better so they can go back. My mom always tells me, "You have lived here most of your life so you stay, but as soon as you get a good job we are going back home." I really couldn't care less about going back, and if I do I can't live there. I have forgotten how to read and write the language, and people poke fun at my "foreign accent" every time I talk. It would be strange for me to readjust all over again. Everyday of my life I thank God that I was given an opportunity to live in America and come at the young age I did. I see many people, not only Ethiopians, who struggle because they came when they were older so they have a lot more difficulty adjusting.

The thing I love about America is that a person can achieve wonders with just a dream and some hard work. I always ask God why I was the one who was given the opportunity to start a new life here, out of all the people who lived around me. I guess I just have to wait and see. I just hope it is something special that benefits me and the nation that has become my home.

Meron Ayane (10th grade – in USA)

I came to America because I want to get a good education. I miss all my family and friends back home.  There is a lot of difference between Ethiopia and America for example the weather, food, education. I see a lot of difference from Ethiopian teenagers and American teenagers, such as cultural difference, fashion difference, different reading and writing habits, the types of music they listen to, class discipline differences. A lot of Ethiopian parents think that American culture has an effect on their teenage children – in my opinion I say yes, `cause some of the Ethiopian teenagers come to America and they change. They try to act like the American teenagers.

I like the American culture with its variety of music, movies, different schools.

Location:
Located in Eastern Africa, west of Somalia, with Sudan to the northwest and Eritrea to the North.



History: The history of Ethiopia is divided into four different eras. The first is Prehistoric Ethiopia, and began about 3.8 million years ago. In 1974, the remains of a female hominoid were found in Ethiopia.  Estimated to be about 3.2 million years old, they are the oldest humanoid fossils found to date. Much later in that same period, many people migrated to Ethiopia, mostly from Egypt and Arabia and started trading extensively, developing a new form of writing known as Ge’ez and some adopting Judaism.  After Prehistoric Ethiopia came the First Ethiopian Kingdom. During this period many advances occurred, including the first coinage used in an African country.  Next was the Second Ethiopian Empire, during which time Ethiopia was under the rule of the Ethiopian Solomonic dynasty.  This dynasty of numerous kings and queens drew its lineage and its legitimacy to rule from King Solomon.  The fourth and final era in Ethiopian history came about with the Ethiopian defeat of Italian invaders in the late 1800’s and is marked by the end of monarchic rule in Ethiopia. Today, the country is under a democratic government.

To read more about the history of Ethiopia, click here.

Population: 66,557,553

Capital: Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia and the largest city in the country, with over two million people.  It is also the third capital in the world with the highest elevation.  Addis Ababa is an important administrative center, because the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa and the Organization of African Unity are located there. 

Language:
Amharic is the official language of Ethiopia, but Tigrinya, Oromigna, Guaragigna, Somali and Arabic are also used.

Population:
Oromo - 40%, Amhara and Tigre - 32%, Sidamo - 9%, Shankella - 6%, Somali - 6%, Afar - 4%, Gurage - 2%, other - 1%

Religion: Muslim 45%-50%, Ethiopian Orthodox 35%-40%, animist 12%, other 3%-8%

President: Girma Woldegiorgis

Government type: Federal republic

Conflicts: The conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea erupted on May 6, 1998 and has been on going ever since.  Many lives have been lost because of the conflict, which started because of a dispute over 160 miles land, Badame, on the border of the two countries.  The border was set by the Italian colonizers in the 19th century, but it was vague.  Therefore, when Badame was drawn on the map as part of Ethiopia, the disagreement surfaced.

Anthem: Click here to hear Ethiopia’s national anthem.

Traditional recipes: Visit Food Down Under for great recipes.

Music:

Ethioian six string lyre

Visit Ethiopian Highlands where you can read about the history of Ethiopian music and listen to some Ethiopian music.

Places to visit in Ethiopia:

Addis Ababa:
Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia and was founded in 1887 by Emperor Menelik.  This city has many places you could visit, such as the Africa Hall, which  has been the seat of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; Menelik Mausoleum, which yields numerous parchments, scrolls and other vernacular scripts; Mercato - the largest open market in all of Africa and one of the largest in the world; the National Museum - contains numerous antiquities, various historical relics, archaeological, paleontologist objects including the 3.5 million-year-old skeleton of Dinkenesh (Lucy); and the Trinity Cathedral - the largest and most magnificent of all modern churches in the country ornamented with carvings, mosaics, and other artistic works including stained glass paintings of saints and apostles.


Axum:
Axum was the capital city of the ancient Axumites. (Click here to learn more about the Axumite Kingdom). Axum is famous for its obelisks or monolith stelae. In addition to these huge stone carvings, the imposing St. Mary of Zion Church is the oldest of all churches in Ethiopia, rich for its historic and ecclesiastical relics. The Ark of the Covenant, which housed the Ten Commandments from the Bible, is also believed to exist in one of the monasteries in Axum.


Gonder:
Gonder was once the capital city of Ethiopia, during the reign of Emperor Fasiledes and his predecessors from the seventeenth century onwards. This city is known for its ancient castles.


Langano:
Langano is located 200Km South of Addis Ababa. It is a sand beach that attracts many visitors. Along the road to Langano, one can see beautiful landscapes. As you continue driving, the first lake to be seen among the rift valley lakes is Lake Zeway. It is a shelter for a variety of birds and fish. Proceeding further to the South, Lake Abiyata and Lake Shala can be reached. These lakes are breeding places for Flamingos and ideal for bird watching.

National Sports
  1. Track and field and soccer are two of the most popular sports in the country. These two sports have won gold for the Ethiopians at the Olympics.
  2. One of the non-traditional sports present in Ethiopia is Senterej – Ethiopian Chess. The game is of Arab origin.  The king can move two squares to the right and the castle can be moved to the adjacent square. Players usually move however fast or slow they want, without waiting for their opponents to make the move.  This type of play is called Werera, and it is ended when the first capture is made.  After that the game is just like the modern chess game.




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  • xxxxxxxxxx on October 6, 2004
    it's about time someone talked about Ethiopia with out talking about poverty and hunger
  • Mr. Special on October 19, 2004
    Ethiopian Pride!
  • ethiopian on October 20, 2004
    good job fidan, i really like your presentation
  • hirut (View Email) on April 3, 2005 at 3:43 PM
    my name is hirut melesse.am a girl of 17 years old.i really want to be memeber ship of this site.it is nice to tolk about your country.but it also bad to tolk bad things about your country.who knows one day ethiopia will the greatest country.any way i want yuo guy to give me chance to say some thing about my country.thank you
  • lil ethiopian on May 3, 2005 at 5:43 PM
    its true there;s more to ethiopia than the famine and terible things that happened that i don't know of so i can't list but yes there is a lot of things about ethiopia that is great like the country its self how beautiful it is and nice weather songs and all that Ethiopian pride!!!
  • 08 mimi on July 31, 2005 at 1:58 AM
    i went 2 ethio bout 3 years ago nd it was the best time i ever had in my life. i luved it so much i cant wait till i can go back soon.
  • sefer (View Email) on August 20, 2005 at 7:18 PM
    thanks for the articles about people so often sites ONLY discuss politics

    sefer
  • fcikadu (View Email) on October 11, 2005 at 10:31 PM
    yaaaa.ethiopia is the specialy of
    especialy.i like very much my country.
    every body may know ethiopia? it is
    speialy.may be we are poor in technology.
    but that is noproblem.one day we can solv
    es it with GOD.so people,please let us
    works and forget poletica.ok?
  • Efrem.k (View Email) on December 24, 2005 at 4:48 AM
    Firs of all How are you? I have no cimment but, i want to get some information from you. That is please would you tell me the history of basketball in Ethiopia? thankyou....
  • Krista (View Email) on February 13, 2006 at 7:20 PM
    hey, i'm interested. What do ethiopian teenagers do? Like.. me and my friends go see movies, and go to parties and all that. Is ethiopia that different?
  • Zeinu Ahmed (View Email) on February 24, 2006 at 7:03 AM
    my hobbies are playing football and reading books
    I think about my countrys poletics.
    As oredy knows the people of ethiopia elect his ruling governments but there is a cnflict of interest peoples and the governments.
    The governments says the election can do effectivelly and efficiently but the people not.
  • cat jones (View Email) on May 15, 2006 at 12:28 PM
    this has bin a gr8 help 4 my homework thanx!
  • parrot on July 22, 2006 at 4:03 AM
    hi all. well, I like everthin' about Ethio . oh ppl, i call it as paradise. anyway it is good to breath the air of Ethio atleast once in life time.
    thank u so much!
  • BInyam (View Email) on September 10, 2006 at 2:14 AM
    Hey guys,

    You know what I observed in Ethiopia when I was there for a week just the rainy season started, there are some discussion groups organized by the teenagers. I was surprised to see and listen to them arguing how they could contribute to their countries future developement. I observed that there is also a bit hopelessness, though. But I like what they were doing. Believing in discussing matters!

    Tanx
  • tarshiela toles (View Email) on January 18, 2007 at 8:09 PM
    people is always talking about the bad things that goes on in Ethiopia but reading this information has change my outlook at Ethiopia because even if the have trobules this is a wonderful place to me not every thing is bad and iI wish people can see that
  • mihret (View Email) on August 26, 2007 at 10:48 PM
    keep working like this. ilove you all. our country is sweet so, go on. thank you.
  • mimi on February 19, 2010 at 2:45 PM
    for who have quastion about Ethiopia basktball yes we like to play but most us like soccer more
    for the second q ; Krista yes we like to see moves not the party our culter not allowed for teenager also we all agre donot u think so?but we had lot of fun just like you guys
  • yedasa (View Email) on March 27, 2014 at 3:23 PM
    i need him to contact
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