Tag Archives: Christmas

Ethiopian Christmas – Melcome Genna

January 7th, yep! Historically Ethiopian Cristmas has been celebrated January 7th, and Ethiopians are not the only ones who do so, Russian orthodox and other orthodox celebrate Christmas on January 7. According to Wikipedia, when the Catholics moved further into Europe, traditions already practiced by the inhabitants were not adopted, but the day was, and December 25th became the day most of the world celebrates Jesus’ birth. For Gary and I it means we have 2 Christmases! We’re always here for Ethiopian Christmas, that makes 6 and we’re still counting!

It’s a very family oriented holiday here, and folks living abroad or far from home make every effort to be w the friends and loved ones for Christmas! Our friend, whose daughter is in her first year at the University, shared that she wouldn’t be coming home for Christmas, and that his wife would be sad… The first Christmas without her. We commiserated with him because Christmas just isn’t the same without the whole family. But it turns out, he had a surprise waiting for him when he got home, she was there! A pretty good joke, but all was forgiven as they were together!

A merry heart is good like a medicine!

Enjoying dessert at the posh Sheraton in Addis, the lobby and surrounds were very reminiscent of Christmas in the US. 20 ft high Christmas trees, and life size moving reindeer decorated the lobbies as children decked in red wearing Santa hats were every where. The pianist in the lobby played a mixture of Ethiopian songs, and a few traditional Christmas tunes, Deck the Halls, Silent Night and a few others. The only one whose attendence was totally absent from the festivities was Santa. There were no Santa’s listening to request while children bounced on one knee. No naughty children here (lol) (jk)!

Back in Awassa, sheep and goats are packed into taxis and cars to be prepared for Christmas dinner. We’ll be enjoying doro wat, beg tibs, hoppy juice, goman and more… Gotta go, we’re off to a Christmas dinner party and now I’m really hungry! I must remember to save room because we have another Christmas party tomorrow!

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“Football, Seriously?”

Me and my Mom show up for a confusing game of football!

This little Bitstrips illustrates a basic human condition… The idea that preconceived notions or ideas sometimes lead to misunderstandings. This cartoon is a cute illustration of this. But in my case, until I moved abroad I didn’t realize that to most of the world what they call “football” most Americans would describe as “soccer”. My mom is an avid football (American football) fan, and would be quite put out if I showed up in a soccer uniform to play her beloved football! It’s a humorous little cartoon, but it happens.

After we’d been living in ET for a little more than a year we had a friend, who helped with the housework and cooking. After returning from furlough I learned she was expecting and the baby was due around New Years. This is late summer so I’m planning to give her leave in January. She’s a hard worker, a really hard worker! September rolls around and she asks me to ask one of my friends to come because she had something she wanted interpreted. This friend spoke both Amharic and English, so we’re sitting in the living room, and my friend begins by saying, (we’ll just call her “L”)

” “L” warned you that the baby was due at the beginning of the new year, and that she would be taking her leave then.” So I’m nodding, yes I know, I’m so excited for “L”, you know it’s her first.

My friend smiles at me and says, “well it’s the New Year now and she’s taking leave ASAP, she’s about to have the baby any time now.” I’m totally confused! Wait, she said in the New Year, and that’s not for several months, this is only September.

My friend says “no Felecia, it’s the Ethiopian New Year, September 11th.”

My brain does a kind of somersault, and I rehearse all the things I’d had “L” doing over the past few days. I was undone, this tiny pregnant lady could give birth any minute and I was clueless. She’d clean these tall windows and just made an extra market run! Good grief! My next thought, of course was, she could deliver here in my living room right now! OMG, I couldn’t believe it! Today her daughter is 4 and it’s funny now, but at the time I was really worried that she could have been hurt! Another instance when preconceived notions can result in crazy misunderstandings!Even innocent misunderstandings can have long lasting and profound effects.

This Christmas season lets make an effort to be at peace with one another, let’s lay aside those things that divide us and cause friction in our relationships. Jesus is why we come together this time of year, and most of the world celebrates the birth of our King… Let’s do all we can to rejoice in what unites us, JESUS! That’s how the World will know that He is our King, because of our love for one another. Mistakes and misunderstandings happen whether we intend them or not 😃