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Eskista Vs Jonny Ragga April 26, 2008

Posted by habeshaviews in Ethiopia.

I recently had a discussion with one of my friends about culture and what it is.  We were working to come up with a representation of Ethiopian culture for a non-Ethiopian audience. One of the things we choose to work with was, of course,music.

SO the million dollar question -what represents Ethiopian music?  

My friend being a stonched conservative traditionalist ,we couldn’t agree on what represents Ethiopia.


For me culture is some set of shared values and rules people agreed to live by at a certain point in history. It can and should change when it out lives its time and when its members agreed to change it. So much as I enjoy eskista and traditional Ethiopian beats,I feel that it doesn’t represent 77 million Ethiopians. I am totally not referring this in an ethnic federalistic way. Rather, I believe contemporary Ethiopian music is part of Ethiopian culture. Whether its Chachi,Jonny ragga ,Zeritu ,Gossaye or any of the new names in Ethiopian music are part of the existing culture we have. Its like Spanish and reggae tone songs. They are able to come up with a modern beat with a local flavour. Although, How much of the contemporary modern Ethiopian music have traditional flavour is another question.

But we can not always assume that every Ethiopian identifies her/himself with eskista and traditional beats. There are other rules and agreed principles with in the modern and traditional culture we have.

Let me hope my under grad sociology professor wouldn’t read this and shoot himself. ..lol


Its not all about Size April 25, 2008

Posted by habeshaviews in Uncategorized.
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They say its all about size ,right?  Well, I don’t think so. Oh oh ..don’t get me wrong, I am referring to a totally different issue- a mosquito. I mean,think of it, how come something as tiny as a mosquito can knock down a whole person and cause a global health threat?

A disease you might get from a simple bite of a mosquito causes death. In fact,each year it accounts over a million deaths. There are also 3 billion people who currently live under the threat of malaria.


Over 3 billion people under threat?…Least you can do is be(look) curious !!!

Of course, Malaria is a disease of poverty. Translation?  it’s caused and aggravated by inadequate socio-economic and environmental conditions. It also increases the level of poverty by incapacitating people from working.

Africa is one of the continents highly affected by the malaria pandemic. Poverty, lack of awarness,disease resistance to medications,lack of focus on research in vaccination and a million other issues that are ignored by policy makers still maintains this little mini tiny thing in power. Goal 6 of the over ambitious UN Millennium Development Goals specifically mentions malaria

”Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases ”

Eight years down the line,  we still talk of  millions of deathes. Today, April 25th, is being commemorated as World malaria day. Beating malaria can start form you.

The least you can do is be curious about it. One of the million lessons we can learn from this disease is that IMPACT IS REALLY NOT ABOUT SIZE !



Gallo Pinot vs Injera April 19, 2008

Posted by habeshaviews in Culture, Ethiopia.
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How classic Ethiopian of me? No matter how often I travel I always have a hard time getting used to non-Ethiopian dishes. I used to think that I would be dead if I do not eat injera for more than 3 days.That is what I hear from my Ethiopian friends too. Well, here in Costa Rica people eat rice with rice and rice.  You know perceptions about rice in Ethiopia.

Nothing against it, I even enjoy the way they cook it. But , come on, you can not eat rice continously. At least, I can’t. Funny thing , in Ethiopia we eat injera every other day and we don’t get tired of it right?

Okey a rice story , one of my friends who really got tired of rice went to the States during school break. Hoping for the first injera after months. Those who are Ethiopians ,you know the feeling. Guess what her hosts prepared especially for her ? …Yeah ,got it! -Rice…lol


Costa Rica is a country that loves to celebrate it’s culture. Festivals of music, food ,horses and dances are  common here. On April 13th,2008  the country celebrated one of it’s typical dishes , Gallo pinto.

”On this Sunday, April 13, more than 2,000 kilos (4,409 pounds) of black beans and 1,800 kilos (3,968) of rice will be seasoned, spiced, and cooked into enough gallo pinto to feed 30,000 watering mouths. In fact, thanks to the first ever Fiesta Nacional del Gallo Pinto (National Gallo Pinto Party), hosted on downtown’s Paseo Colón, all this delicious pinto will be free of charge”


Come to think of it ,no matter how we crave for it we never celebrated Injera.

 Niether of other aspects of our culture.So much for dying with out it!