CULTURE RICH DESTINATIONS - ETHIOPIA
Heritage & Culture Travel Themes
Heritage and culture plays an important role in Africa. Each country have a unique culture that is rich and diverse and varies not only from one country to another, but within each country itself. The culture of each ethnic group centers on family and can be found in each group’s art, music and oral literature. From storytelling through oral literature to traditions, dialects, arts and music, indigenous culture persist. And we couldn't agree more when Victoria falls guide describe the unification of communities. "In African culture, the “self” is not separate from the world, it is united and intermingled with the natural and social environment. It is through relations with one’s community and surroundings that an individual becomes a person of volition, whose actions and decisions affect the entire group rather than just oneself. There is a Xhosa proverb that is common to all African cultures and languages, “Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu,” (“A person is a person through persons”)." Or as the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. We hope to take you on this journey to understand and appreciate African culture by highlighting cultural nuances, heritage and traditions of each country that seem to have tremendous influence in the world.
Cultural Traditions, Custom &Significance
Cultural Influence on Daily Life
Not many Ethiopians speak fluent international languages, mainly because Ethiopia has a unique history, they’ve never been colonized. This often leads to misunderstandings as, for example, an Ethiopian might pronounce thirteen and thirty in the same way. One way of avoiding such communication barriers is for travelers to get familiar with a list of basic Ethiopian words and phrases. Three of the main languages spoken in Ethiopia are. Amharic - spoken in the capital Addis Ababa, Gondar, Bahirdar, and the amhara region as a whole. You may find amharic speakers in all parts of the country. Oromiffah- Spoken in tourist destinations like Langano, bishoftu and all parts of the Oromo region. Tigrigna- Spoken in tourist destinations like Axum, Yeha and the semien.
Traditionally, Ethiopian food is eaten with the hands. This is done by tearing off some injera and using it to scoop up some food and then eat all of it. For newcomers, this may feel slightly awkward at first.
Communal plates are usually used for traditional meals, but reaching across the whole plate to get food is impolite, stick to eating what is close to you.
The left hand is considered unclean in Ethiopian culture, so try to remember to eat with your right hand.
Greeting takes the form of multiple kisses on both cheeks and a plethora of exchanged pleasantries. Any hint of superiority is treated with contempt. Age is a factor in social behavior, and the elderly are treated with the utmost respect. When an elderly person or guest enters a room, it is customary to stand until that person is seated. Dining etiquette is also important. One must always wash the hands before a meal, since all food is eaten with the hands from a communal dish. It is customary for the guest to initiate eating. During a meal, it is proper form to pull injera only from the space directly in front of oneself. Depleted portions are replaced quickly. During meals, participation in conversation is considered polite; complete attention to the meal is thought to be impolite.
It is advisable to avoid discussion on religion, sex or sexuality and local politics because it is hard to tell where people stand on these topics. Most Ethiopians seem to be indifferent, at least in public, about politics. However, it is possible your comments might be taken as criticism. Most Ethiopians show self pride and do not accept easily being seen as less worthy. the World Cup is in progress, you can chat with anyone about it, men and women, young and old. Most Ethiopians are soccer fans.
Enkutatash - Ethiopian New Year (September 11th)
Ethiopia still retains the Julian calendar, in which the year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each and a 13th month of 5 days and 6 days in leap year. The Ethiopian calendar is 8 years behind the Gregorian calendar from January to September and 7 years behind between September 11 and January 8.
Enkutatash means the "gift of jewels". When the famous Queen of Sheba returned from her expensive jaunt to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her bolts by replenishing her treasury with inku or jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since this early times and as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard at every village in the green countryside.
But Enkutatash is not exclusively a religious holiday. Today's Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal new year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated - in lieu or the traditional bouquet of flowers.
InterContinental Addis Hotel
Intercontinentaladdis is a luxurious Hotel which is perfectly located in a strategic position at the heart of Kazanchis area Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
It’s a 10 minute drive from Bole international airport and a walking distance from UNECA/UNCC compound,
comprising of 152 luxurious rooms, 42 luxurious furnished apartments and
14 conference halls which can accommodate more than 2,000 guests at a time, and all conference halls have modern centralized AC and Sound systems.
Each of the rooms has
flat screen TV sets with DSTV satellite, Air conditioned, fire proof doors, carpets, safety deposit box, mini bar and balcony.
Roof top Swimming pool, Full Spa, Gym, Night Club, Open air lobby, Bars, Bistro, Italian Restaurant, 360° Revolving Brazilian Restaurant which is the first in East Africa, VIP Lounge, Restaurant serving delicious international and traditional cuisines, Health Center, Tour and Travel, Bank, Cultural Outfits & Sovereign shops, and our double ground ample parking area can accommodate more than 300 cars at a time.