Yes! Ethiopia has its own ancient calendar. And today it is 2008 in Ethiopia. It a special day -most popular among kids. Normally the Ethiopian culture is collective. Holidays like Enkutatash – New Year – bring more energy to a sense of togetherness and sharing happiness.
Unfortunately, mismanagement (which appears to be rather deliberate) by the regime in power in Ethiopia coupled with cultural conquest exerted pressure on the collective culture of Ethiopia. Politically, as we speak many Ethiopians are in prison for merely exercising their fundamental human rights. Economically, Ethiopians are barely able to afford to feed their children while the elites and those who are related to them are looting the country in a way producing millionaires of the practice of corruption. Millions are absolutely not in a position to afford the very basics of existence – and of course the holiday makes little or no sense in a situation like that. Culturally, what was once God fearing, stoic like – in its own right – invincible and selfless like collective world view is giving way to greed and chronic individualistic culture that emphasizes on hedonism, narcissism and showy personality. Irresponsible youth in the cities are mired in task of nurturing this very trend.
It is like Ethiopians are living in a “things fall apart” moment.
Despite all that, Enkutatash is still part of who we are and the forces in the business of demolishing Ethiopia like it never existed did not totally succeed in making Ethiopians forget who they are. Albeit all forms of internal and external pressures, Ethiopians still should continue to hold hands to each other and cherish the sense of togetherness.
Happy Ethiopian New Year !