Chambalala commemorates a women’s visit to family
borkena, Ethiopian News
June 21, 2017
Two days Fichee-Chambalaalla celebration of Sidama New year is underway in Awasa. The cultural festival is expected to be two weeks long in Sidama zone. The is no fixed annual date for Chambalala festival. Astrologers from the community determine the date and then it is announced to the clans.
Oral tradition has it, as published by UNESCO, that Fiche Chambalala is a commemoration of married Sidama women who visited parents and relatives annually. She brings “buurisam” to the family upon her visit. It is food made from false banana, milk, and butter. The food is not only for the consumption of the family. It is shared among neighbors. Burrisam is still a big component of Chembalala festivity in addition to music and dance.
Horse ride and”Qetela” are parts of the holiday festivity. UNESCO registered Chambala as intangible cultural heritage.
Social inclusion, indicates writing by UNESCO, is a norm; all members of Sidama community take part in the holiday regardless of age, gender, and social status. Elders speak to all community members to advise them to uphold values enshrined in the community. Working hard and supporting and respecting elders are among the values promoted by elders. Clan leaders seem to have also consciousness about the environment in that they advise community members not to cut down trees. As well, elders promote equity and redistribution.
The regime in power manifested, as in the case of Irrecha which is a religious holiday for Oromo speaking people, intent to inject a politicized sentiment to the holiday. A road race was organized in Awasa which draw more than twenty thousand participants.
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