If you adore Ethiopian music from the 70’and 80’s, chances are ESAT Hule Haddis Sunday entertainment program could be your taste.
As true reflections of the society, theatre and music from that era captured the beliefs – in all their forms – and aspirations of Ethiopian Society.
Among many other themes, love, hope, relationship,loyalty, attachment to birth places -without being opposing value to national feeling and patriotism – resonated in the works of Ethiopian actors and musicians. As such it is even possible to assert that music and threatre from that era, although there are exceptions, bear marks of originality and were an organic product of the Ethiopian society.
More importantly, theatre and music as a tool to prepare Ethiopians to defend the freedom,dignity and independence of Ethiopia, which was partly seen as historical heritage that needs to be defended with ultimate sacrifice, played a crucial role. Concomitantly, in most cases it also protected the cultural identity of Ethiopia from systematic and subtle intrusions from hegemonic culture in the west-which usually ends up in total cultural conquest- and from gradual conquest.
The product itself was matured,insightful and captivating timeless piece. Script writers understood their purpose and role and lived it. Vocalists understood their role and lived it. The result was the patriotism that helped defend Ethiopia was nurtured and venerated which is not the case under the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front. In consequence,and now, with no exaggeration the Ethiopian culture is on the verge of extinction.
Evidently, there are exceptions. Northern Gonder seem to have maintained its cultural originality. Recent patriotic resistances in Northern Gonder to the fascist like regime in power could partly, arguably, be related to maintained cultural originality in the region. In fact, there was clear orchestrated attempt to hybrid music and dances from Gonder with Rap music from the west. There were similar attempts in religion.Apparently, it was not a success.
ESAT deserves credit for having programs like Hule Addis. It could go a long way in terms of creating consciousness to the young generation if tailored to that specific audience.
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