As Ethiopia is a land of heterogeneity, it might not be a surprise to observe breathtaking celebrations of cultural traditions and human values in each and every corner of Ethiopia. Because of the high values of the ceremonies and to safeguard it the UNESCO inscribed many tangible and intangible heritage of humanity in Ethiopia.
As the festivals are celebrated as per the customs of the communities and religious groups there are also onlookers from every part of the world such sensuous beauties at the same time it is common to see a passionate outburst of societies of the oversea community.
Meskel, the finding of the true cross, Timket, Ethiopian Epiphony, Irrecha, Eid Alfter are the most notably celebrated festivals in Addis Ababa metropolis. The practice is of paramount importance these festivals in the tourism sector as we learn from the experience of carnivals celebrated in various parts of the world particularly in Latin American countries
The aim of this piece is not mainly to put emphasis on tourism aspects of phenomena rather on the capability of the metropolis in ushering various events.
Over the week Addis has hosted two big events Irreecha thanksgiving day of the Oromo people and the marking of the formation of the new government.
At the moment different ethnic groups of Ethiopia have joined the Oromo in celebrating the festival; Most of the interviewee noted the Metropolis is building capacity in ushering the mega events “Hence the initiative is a good stride in the country’s journey of nation-building, it should be sustained.”
They also noted that, the inaugural ceremony of the new government and the attendance of African leaders and senior officials and religious leaders and their respective delegations could serve as a spring board for The Horn integrity and real African unity.
Members of the cultural group and delegates from all parts of the country come together to attend the Irreecha celebration told the staf daily newspaper Addis Zemen “Celebrating Irrecha festival in Addis Ababa is widely known among the Oromo people but it is also becoming a day of Ethiopian culture and gratitude.”
One of the delegations who come to partake in the Irrecha festival from Sidam ethnic group Buguna Chamiso said the Ethiopian people have been deprived of their right to exercise their culture for many years but thanks to reform that let to practice us in open palaces, in my view, letiing ethnics groups to festivals make people of Ethiopia to acknowledge each than ever before build trust among people.
Tefera Lidamo, another member of the cultural delegation from Sidama, said Irrecha has constructive values and contribution to the strengthening of our relationship.
“Irreecha is a heritage of all Ethiopians and that is why I am here”
Filson Jamal from Ethiopia Somali State said that it acknowledging one’s culture and identity paves to build trust ad mutual understanding among peoples. She said the recent celebration of Irrecha has played a significant role in shaping efforts to celebrate the cultural heritage and patriotism of the Oromo people.
On the other hand, Al-Bashir Awad, another representative from the Berta ethnic group, said that Irreecha celebration in Addis Ababa was colorful and it attracts local and international tourists, this year’s celebration was colorful.
Mustafa Mohamed, a representative of the Ethiopia Somali state, said that the festival was attended by a large number of ethnic groups, drawn from various parts of Ethiopia. I had learnt, over two hundred fifty cultural representatives attended the Irreecha festival to showcase the nation’s culture and traditions diversity. He said Irreecha is an Ethiopian heritage and it has greatly contributed to the establishment of cultural ties, acquaintances, and peoples of the country.
According to Mustafa, as our country is a home of many cultures and traditions, celebrating as per the values of the people has many benefits it opens the door to learn more about the values of the peoples thereby strengthen the coexistence of the people of Ethiopia.
He further noted that said the people of Ethiopia, are showing to the world that though people have various backgrounds Irrecha was celebrated by all ethnic groups.
The beauty was glittering I had seen many many onlookers saying “Irreecha is not only belong Oromo, but also a world heritage we should enjoy it”.
He concludes Irreecha is a great festival to ensure unity and solidarity of the people and we must celebrate it in ways of the values of the Oromo people. We should preserve the festivals and make them be exercised in a more constrictive fashion, and we should let each ethnic group demonstrate it, we should celebrate our diversity, “I believe there are many cultures and traditions in Ethiopia that we should bring to stages, I think Irreecha celebration an eye-opener,” he underlined.
The other mega phenomena the Metropolis ushered was prime Minster Abiy Ahmed’s inauguration ceremony held at Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square, on the occasion, six African heads of state, from Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, and Uganda, as well as the Prime Minister of DR Congo and Foreign Minister of Algeria, the leaders had shared kind words that could trigger the integration of Africans. Here is some of Head of States selected keynotes.
President of Djibouti Ismaïl Omar
“Throughout this long and glorious history, Ethiopia has gone through many defining moments and has always come out stronger”.
“Today, more than ever before, we hope to see an Ethiopian nation that is at peace with itself, a nation that forgives all of its sons and daughters and collectively builds on the achievements of yesterday to reach an even higher ground. We all know how fragile peace is in our region.”
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said,
“I stand here to offer you my support as you continue to rebuild Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the mother of African independence … Ethiopia is our mother. If the mother is not at peace no other members of the family can be at peace.”
Ugandan President, Youweri Museveni said,
“Ethnic divisions, religious divisions had shattered Uganda; but we grew out of that misery because we stood in unity. I advise Ethiopian people from learn from Uganda that politics of interest is the better way than politics of ethnicity.”
Somalia’s President, Abdullahi
“Amongst all of today’s difficulties, leaders must offer solutions, hope, and deliver results that can drive progress and prosperity for their people and nations. I strongly believe that African leaders when working with the people and for the good of their common future are unstoppable forces.
President of South Sudan Salva Kirr said,
“I came here in August for a one-day visit, and I said that we won Ethiopia, which is our great mother. Being a South Sudanese without Ethiopia would have not been what we are today.
“We don’t want our great mother, Ethiopia, to have the challenge we had in South Sudan… we will go wherever you go with you”.
BY LAKACHEW ATINAFU
THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD OCTOBER 13/2021