Ethiopia Reception Book 2011 12
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Ethiopia Reception Book 2011 12 Ethiopia Reception Book 2011 12 Document Transcript

  • 1
  • Table of ContentsINTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................................. 3Location:........................................................................................................................................................ 4History ........................................................................................................................................................... 5Essentials:...................................................................................................................................................... 8Way of Travel: ............................................................................................................................................. 10 By plane............................................................................................................................................... 10 By bus .................................................................................................................................................. 10 By car................................................................................................................................................... 11Language ..................................................................................................................................................... 12What makes Ethiopia Unique?.................................................................................................................... 13FOODS ......................................................................................................................................................... 13Closing remarks:.......................................................................................................................................... 15 2
  • INTRODUCTIONBasic FactsLocation: Eastern AfricaCapital: Addis AbabaClimate: tropical monsoon with wide topographic-induced variationPopulation: 82,544,840 (July 2008 est.)Ethnic Make-up: Oromo 32.1%, Amara 30.1%, Tigraway 6.2%, Somalie 5.9%, Guragie 4.3%, Sidama 3.5%,Welaita 2.4%, other 15.4% (1994 census)Religions: Christianity 60.8% (Orthodox 50.6%, Protestant 10.2%), Muslim 32.8%, traditional 4.6%, other1.8% (1994 census)Government: Federal RepublicAIESEC ETHIOPIAIn the International Congress of AIESEC 2008, Ethiopia was pronounced an official expansion fromAIESEC Italy and for the past three years AIESEC in Ethiopia continually grows one step at a time. To bevery clear “AIESEC is a global, non-political, independent, not-for profit organization run by students andrecent graduates of institutions of higher education.” Its members are interested in world issues,leadership and management. AIESEC does not discriminate on basis of race, color, gender, sexualorientation, creed, religion, national ethnic or social origin. Our Vision “Peace and fulfillment ofhumankind’s potential” directs us at painting a powerful picture of an integrated learning process fixedby the activities of AIESEC.Dear AIESECerThank you for showing interest in having an internship opportunity in AIESEC Ethiopia. We also lookforward to having you. We hope to make your stay a memorable one. This reception book has beenprepared to give you a broad overview of Ethiopia as well as tell you what you can expect from the landof opportunity. People here are curious about other cultures and very eager to share their culturalexperiences. We wish to learn from your cultural and subsequently professional experiences. If you findyourself in a company or project, please strive to “Enjoy participation” of all other AIESEC activities as itbecomes a key learning point for all of us.Please do not hesitate to inquire more information from us and we anticipate your arrival. AIESEC Ethiopia Exchange Team “Crazy for success” 3
  • Location:Ethiopia is located on the Horn of Africa with Somalia,Djibouti, Kenya, Eritrea, Sudan and South SudanElevation extremes:Lowest point: Denakil Depression -125 m ((-410 ft)highest point: Ras Dejen 4,620 m (15,157 ft) 4
  • HistoryEthiopia is one of the oldest independent nations in the world. It has long been an intersection betweenthe civilizations of North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. Unique among Africancountries, Ethiopia was never colonized, maintaining its independence throughout the Scramble forAfrica onward, except for a five-year period (1936-41) when it was under Italian military occupation.During this period, the Italians occupied only a few key cities and major routes, and faced continuingnative resistance until they were finally defeated during the Second World War by a joint Ethiopian-British alliance. Ethiopia has long been a member of international organizations: it became a member ofthe League of Nations, signed the Declaration by United Nations in 1942, founded the UN headquartersin Africa, was one of the 51 original members of the UN, and is the headquarters for and one of thefounding members of the former OAU and current AU. Geographically Ethiopia is located in the east central Africa, bordered on the west by the Sudan, theeast by Somalia and Djibouti, the south by Kenya, And the north east by Eritrea. Ethiopia is sub-saharanAfrica’s oldest state, and its Solomonic dynasty claims decent from King Menelik I, traditionally believedto have been the son of the queen of Sheba and King Solomon. The current nation is a consolidation ofsmaller kingdoms that owed feudal allegiance to the Ethiopian Emperor.Prehistory:Archeologists have found the oldest known human ancestor in Ethiopia, including Ardipithecus ramiduskadabba (c.5.8-5.2 million years old) and Australopithecus anamensis (c.4.2 million years old).Lucy, discovered in the Awash valley of Ethiopia’s Afar region, is considered the worlds’ second-oldest,but most complete and best preserved, adult Australopithecine fossil. Lucy’s taxonomic name,Australopithecus afarensis, meaning ”‘southern ape of Afar” and refers to the Ethiopian region wherethe discovery was made. Lucy is estimated to have lived 3.2 million years ago. East Africa, and morespecifically the general area of Ethiopia, is widely considered the site of the emergence of early Homosapiens. 5
  • Classical AntiquityIt is now known that in ancient times the name Ethiopia was used to refer to the nation based in theupper Nile valley south of Egypt, also called kush, which in the 4th century was invaded by the Kingdomof Axum from the highlands close to the red sea. Reference to the kingdom of Axum designated asEthiopia dates as far back as the first half of 4th century since inscription of Ezana Habashat (the sourceof “Abyssinia”) in Ge’ez South Arabian alphabet, Is translated in Greek as “Aethiopia”. The state of Sheba mentioned in the old Testament is sometimes believed to have been in Ethiopia,but more often is placed in Yemen. According to the Ethiopian legend, best represented in the KebraNegest, the Queen of Sheba was tricked by King Solomon into sleeping with him, resulting in a child,named Eden Melek (later Emperor Menelik I). When he was of age, Menelik returned to Israel to see hisfather, who sent with him the son of Zadok to accompany him with a replica of the Ark of the Covenant(Ethiosemetic: tabot). On his way back with some of Israelite priests, however, he found that Zadok’sson had stolen the real Ark of the Covenant. Some believed that the Ark is still being preserved today atthe Church of our lady Mary of Zion in Axum, Ethiopia. The tradition that the Biblical queen of sheba wasa ruler of Ethiopia who visited king Solomon in Jerusalem in ancient Israel is supported by the 1stcentury AD Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who identified Solomons visitor as a queen of Egypt andEthiopiaHistorical Sites:Axum:Ethiopia’s most ancient city is the site of many remarkable monolithic stoneStella, or Obelisks. The three most important are decorated to representmulti-storied buildings. The largest obelisk (35m tall, 500tons) is the biggestpiece of stone ever cut by humanity anywhere in the world, but today liesbroken on the ground. Near it stands a smaller but nevertheless mostimpressive, 24m high obelisk. A larger obelisk was taken to Italy on thepersonal order of the Italian fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, in 1937, butnow it has returned to Axum.A two hour drive from Axum, takes the traveller, past truly fantastic mountain scenery, to Yeha. This isthe site of a huge and most impressive temple, thought to date from around the sixth or seventhcentury BC. The journey takes the traveller past the site of Ethiopia’s historic victory over Italiancolonialists, at the battle of Adwa, of 1896, the greatest victory of an African over an European armysince the time of Hannibal. 6
  • Bahar Dar:Bahar Dar, a settlement on the southern shore of Lake Tana, is the mostconvenient center for visiting the famous Blue Nile Falls, locally known asTisisat, or smoke fire. Bahar Dar port likewise provides access, by boat, to anumber of historic lake side churches, and monasteries near and far.Gondar:Gondar, which Emperor Fasilidas founded as his capital in 1636, is the siteof numerous castle-like palaces. The city was Ethiopia’s capital until thereign of the would be reforming Emperor Tewdrons II. Althoughpredominantly Christian, the town inhabitants included many rich Muslimmerchants, and Falashas. Beside the famous palaces, there is the so-calledBathing palace of Emperor Fasilades, which is used for the anual Timket, orEpiphany celebration.Harar:The ancient walled city of Harar was for many centuries a majorcommercial center. Trading with the Ethiopian interior, the Gulf of Adenports, and many eastern lands, it had its own language, Harari, or Adere. It was furthermore renowned for its remarkable handicrafts. Harer, a town of mosques, minarets, and holy shrines, is visited for its unique housing, the colorful dress of its inhabitants, and its stout old walls, the city’s two museums, colorful markets, and at night, the ‘hayena man’, who can be seen and photographed feeding these hyenas.Lalibela:Lalibela, a medieval settlement in the Lasta area of Wolo, is the site of eleven remarkable rock-hewanmonolithic churches, believed to have been built by King Lalibela, in the late twelfth or early thirteenthcentury. These notable structures are carved, inside and outside of thesolid rock, and are considered among the wonders of the world. Eachbuilding is architecturally unique, but all are beautifully carved, and severalof them decorated with fascinating paintings. 7
  • Essentials:ClimateThe predominant climate type is tropical monsoon, with wide topographic-induced variation. As ahighland country, Ethiopia has a climate which is generally considerably cooler than other regions atsimilar proximity to the Equator. Most of the countrys major cities are located at elevations of around2,000-2,500 metres (6,600-8,200 ft) above sea level, including historic capitals such as Gondar andAxum.The modern capital, Addis Ababa, is situated in the foothills of Mount Entoto at an elevation of around2,400 m (8,000 ft), and experiences a healthy and pleasant climate year-round. With fairly uniform year-round temperatures, the seasons in Addis Ababa are largely defined by rainfall, with a dry season fromOct-Feb, a light rainy season from Mar-May, and a heavy rainy season from Jun-Sep. The average annualrainfall is around 1200 mm (47 in). There are on average 7 hours of sunshine per day, meaning it issunny for around 60% of the available time. The dry season is the sunniest time of the year, though evenat the height of the rainy season in July and August there are still usually several hours per day of brightsunshine.The average annual temperature in Addis Ababa is 16°C (61°F), with daily maximum temperaturesaveraging 20-25°C (68-77°F) throughout the year, and overnight lows averaging 5-10°C (41-50°F). A lightjacket is recommended for the evenings, though many Ethiopians prefer to dress conservatively and willwear a light jacket even during the day.Most major cities and tourist sites in Ethiopia lie at a similar elevation to Addis Ababa and havecomparable climates, though in less elevated regions, particularly the lower lying regions in the east ofthe country, the climate can be significantly hotter and drier. The town of Dallol, in the DanakilDepression in this eastern zone, has the worlds highest average annual temperature of 34°C (93°F).Terrain:High plateau with central mountain range divided by Great Rift Valley, low lands in the eastern andwestern most of the country 8
  • Natural hazards:Geologically active Great Rift Valley susceptible to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions; frequent droughtsbut a lovely sight to behold.Geographical note:Ethiopia is a landlocked country- entire coastline along the Red Sea was lost with the de jureindependence of Eritrea on 24 May 1993; the Blue Nile, the chief headstream of the Nile, rises in TanaHayk (Lake Tana) in northwest Ethiopia; three major crops are believed to have originated in Ethiopia:coffee, grain sorghum, and castor bean.Time and calendar:Ethiopia uses the Ethiopian calendar, which dates back to the Coptic calendar 25 BC, and never adoptedthe Julian or Gregorian reforms. One Ethiopian year consists of twelve months, each lasting thirty days,plus a thirteenth month of five or six days (hence the "Thirteen Months of Sunshine" tourism slogan).The Ethiopian new year begins on September 10 or 11 (in the Gregorian calendar), and has accumulated7-8 years lag behind the Gregorian calendar. Thus, for the first nine months of 2007, the year will be1999 according to the Ethiopian calendar. On 11 September 2007, Ethiopia celebrated New Years Day(Enkutatesh) for 2000.In Ethiopia, the 12-hour clock cycles do not begin at midnight and noon, but instead are offset six hours.Thus, Ethiopians refer to midnight (or noon) as 6 oclock.Note: Airline timetables are based on the 24-hour clock and use the Gregorian calendar. 9
  • Regions:Note: the administrative divisions of Harari, Addis Ababa, and Dire Dawa are included in Oromia fortravel purposes. 1. Afar 2. Amhara 3. Benishangul-Gumaz 4. Gambela 5. Oromia 6. Somali 7. Southern Ethiopia 8. TigrayWay of Travel:Note: It is highly recommended that you enter or exit Ethiopia by air to ensure smooth travel.By planeEthiopian Airlines is reasonably priced and has fairly comprehensive domestic services. Flights are oftenoverbooked, so it is essential to reconfirm your tickets at least a day in advance and show up at theairport on time. If you forget to reconfirm, they will assume you arent going to show up and may giveaway your seats.By busThere is a comprehensive network of cheap buses along the major roads, although these are slow andbasic. Buses travelling shorter distances generally leave whenever they have filled up with passengers (inpractice, these means once an hour or so); nearly all long-distance buses leave at dawn (6AM on theEuropean clock; 12AM on the Ethiopian clock). Buses do not travel at night; they will stop before 10
  • sundown in a town or village with accommodation for the passengers, or, between Dire Dawa andDjibouti, just in plain nature. Between some cities (e.g. Adama and Addis Ababa), minibuses will runafter the larger buses have stopped for the night. Everyone on the bus must have a seat by law -- thisprevents overcrowding, but often makes it difficult to catch a bus from an intermediate point on a route.If planning to travel by bus, keep in mind that the vehicles are old and very dusty and the roads are bad.Ethiopians do not like opening the bus windows, so it gets hot and stuffy inside by afternoon. If you likefresh air, sit as close to the driver or one of the doors as possible as the driver keeps his window openand the conductor and his assistant often have the door windows open.The bus stations usually open at 5AM. If you are catching an early morning bus, you should get to thestation at 5AM. They are very chaotic first thing in the morning, and many buses will sell out of seatsbefore they leave at 6AM. To make things easier and less stressful, you can often buy a ticket inadvance. In Addis, find the correct window at the bus station the day before you wish to travel and buyyour ticket there. You will need help finding the window unless you can read Amharic, but there areusually people around who will help if you ask. The ticket will be in Amharic, but there will be a legiblebus number written on it somewhere. Simply find that bus the next morning at the bus station. Insmaller cities, you can often buy your ticket from the conductor when the bus arrives from its previoustrip the afternoon before you travel. Even if you already have a ticket, arrive early and claim a seat assoon as possible. If you dont have a ticket, you will have to ask people to show you the correctbus(unless you can read Amharic). In this case, dont waste time trying to buy a ticket from the windowor from the bus conductor. The conductor will sell you a ticket later. Medium sized backpacks canusually be squeezed under the seats, but large packs and most luggages will have to go up on the roof.Claim your seat before you worry about your luggage. Anyone assisting you with your luggage, includingthe person passing it up to the conductors assistant on the roof, will expect a small tip (around 2-3 birr).On several routes (Addis - Dire Dawa, Bahardar - Addis) you may find also a kind of informal traveler carswith no fixed departure; when looking around at a bus station you may be approached by somebodywho offers you a faster connection by going with a private car; this is more expensive than the normalbus but also much faster. Youll be handed a cell phone number where to call in order to make anappointment. These cars may leave before sundown or travel even at night.By carA good way to tour Ethiopia is by car. You can take small airplanes to expedite your tour, but you willtake in more of scenery if you travel by car. Reasonable touring companies include Galaxy ExpressServices NTO, Dinknesh and Focus Tours Ethiopia. Also Ethiopia Safaris and Journey Abyssinia withZawdu. [www.ethiopiatjazz.com] among others can be approached. They can take you off the beatentrack so you can see the beauty and attractions of Ethiopia. Nevertheless, hiring a car is quite expensive 11
  • (starting from 600-900 depending on condition and quality of model.600 Birr for cheap car with driver).But if you want a car for at least 8 persons is costs from 1000-3000 Birr per day. Prices will vary at thistime due to inflationary pressures inside the country. Drivers pass on their costs for spare parts andneed to increase the price if fuel rises. A driver guides credentials should be checked such as tourismlicense, insurance, engine (external and internal). Before accepting a contract, it is also a good idea toquiz the driver-guide about tourism routes via your own travel guide book (i.e. lonely planet and BradtGuide) but you must also accept that this information could be out of date. When driving to the "deepsouth" of Ethiopia also check the license plates, because the authorities in the south check in and log "3"plate tourism cars, take the names of the passengers and passport number. They need a letter from thetour company to show the agent is bona fide on some routes and parks. Gas comes at 21 ETB a liter.Make sure to always check how much gas is bought and to get a receipt after filling up the gas, or youmight be overcharged.By bicycleRoad conditions vary considerably around Ethiopia; some roads are smoothly sealed while others consistmostly of large stones. Accommodation is cheap and available in almost every village (although these"hotels" usually double as bars and brothels). Food and drink are also easily available. You will attractconsiderable attention (it is not uncommon for whole schools to empty out as the children chase you).LanguageAmharic is the official language of Ethiopia. The language is a Semitic language related to Hebrew andArabic, and if you know either one youll recognize some cognates. In all parts of the country everyonespeaks Amharic to some extent, no matter what their first language may be. The language is written inthe Geez script.In big cities, most people under 40 speak some English. (English is the primary foreign language taught inschools.) In rural areas, find local school children to translate for you for a fee that could be next tonothing. (Ethiopians have a distinct way of speaking English. Because it is heavily accented, it might be abit difficult to understand it at the beginning. However, when you get used to the way they pronouncesome English words, it will become fairly understandable.)Up north in Tigray, Tigrinya is the primary language, and its also written in Geez. However, Amharic iswidely understood.In the middle regions, Oromo is widely spoken. Oromo language uses a Latin alphabet. 12
  • What makes Ethiopia Unique?Society and CultureThe PeopleEthiopia is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country Ethiopia has a diverse mix of ethnic and linguisticbackgrounds. It is a country with more than 80 different ethnic groups each with its own language,culture, custom and tradition. Religion is a major influence in Ethiopian life. Nearly half the populationbelongs to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church but there is also large Muslim population. Others adhere toan ancient form of Judaism. The feast of the Epiphany ("Timkat") is the largest festival of the year.Etiquette  People are addressed with their honorific title and their first name.  “Ato", "Woizero", and "Woizrit" are used to address a man, married woman, and unmarried woman respectively.  Currency - the currency of Ethiopia is the Birr (ETB)-(Image)  Time – Ethiopia is +3 hours GMT.FOODSInjera; a spongy unleavened bread made from teff grain, is the staple of every Ethiopian. All food iseaten with the hands, and pieces of injera are ripped into bite-sized pieces and used to dip and grabstews (wat ) made of vegetables such as carrots and cabbage, spinach, potatoes, and lentils. The mostcommon spice is “berberey”, which has a red pepper base. Meat, specifically beef, chicken, and lamb, iseaten with injera on special occasions. Beef is sometimes eaten raw or slightly cooked in a dish calledkitfo. Traditionally, this is a staple diet.COFFEE CEREMONYThe coffee ceremony is a common ritual. The server starts a fire and roasts green coffeebeans while burning frankincense. Once roasted, the coffee beans are ground with amortar and pestle, and the powder is placed in a traditional black pot called a “jebena”.Water is then added. The jebena is removed from the fire, and coffee is served.FASTING PERIODS 13
  • During Christian fasting periods, no animal products can be eaten and no food or drink can be consumedfrom midnight until 3 P.M. This is the standard way of fasting during the week, and on Saturday andSunday no animal products may be consumed, although there is no time restriction on the fast. Muslimfasting is also observed during the Ramadan. However this does not bind on every citizen or foreigner.DRINKSHoney wine, called “tej”, is a drink reserved for special occasions. “Tej” is a mixture of honey and waterflavored with “gesho” plant twigs and leaves and is traditionally drunk in tube-shaped flasks(image).High-quality “tej” has become a commodity of the upper class, which has the resources to brew andpurchase it.ECONOMYThe economy is based on agriculture, in which 85 percent of the population participates. Mostagricultural producers are subsistence farmers living in the highlands, while the population in thelowland peripheries is nomadic and engages in livestock. Gold, marble, limestone, and small amounts oftantalum are mined.HolidaysThe Ethiopians love to celebrate, whether important events in their history, major landmarks in thereligious calendar or simply special family days. Date English name Local name Remarks January 7 Orthodox Christmas Day Genna or Lidet January 10 Feast of the Sacrifice Id al-Adha varies; this date is for 2006 January 19 Feast of Epiphany Timket March 2 Adwa Day Yeadowa Bäal April 11 Birthday of The Prophet Muhammad Mawlid an-Nabi varies; this date is for 2006 April 21 Orthodox Good Friday Siqlet (Crucifixion) varies; this date is for 2006 April 23 Easter Fasika varies; this date is for 2006 April 24 Easter Monday (public holiday) varies; this date is for 2006 May 1 International Workers Day 14
  • May 5 Patriots Day Arbegnoch Qen May 28 National Day Downfall of Derg Regime August 18 Transfiguration of Jesus Buhe September 11 Ethiopian New Year Inqutatash September 27 Finding of the True Cross Meskel October 24 End of the holy month of Ramadan Id al-Fitr varies; this date is for 2006LanguageEthiopia has many indigenous languages (84 according to the Ethnologue, 77 according to the 1994census), most of them Afro-Asiatic (Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic), plus some that are Nilo-Saharan. Theofficial language of Ethiopia is Amharic, a Semitic language which is spoken by about 27 million people(2.7 million expatriate). Amharic is written with the “Geez” script, which derives its name from theancient Semitic “Geez” language. The second largest language in Ethiopia is the Oromo language, aCushitic language spoken by about 30% of the population. The third largest language in Ethiopia is theTigrinya language, related to Amharic but mostly spoken in northern Ethiopia in the state of Tigray.English is a working language as well as the most widely spoken among the youth and is the medium ofinstruction in secondary schools and universities.Closing remarks:Here in AIESEC Ethiopia, we value the learning and cultural integration of individuals as well aspromoting the integrated learning experience of everyone. As such your presence in this country is anopportunity for us to get to know your country and for you to experience the unique Ethiopiancivilization. “enamesegnalen” Thank you for choosing AIESEC ETHIOPIA. 2011/2012 MC Team. For more information contact: International Relations Manager Tingbani Samson Takura Samson.tingbani@aiesec.net +251923517341 15