Eritrean Youth Identities in the Era of Globalization
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Eritrean Youth Identities in the Era of Globalization



Western living standards and lifestyles are fixed so deeply in their minds...

Western living standards and lifestyles are fixed so deeply in their minds
Young Asmarian identities are expressed through modern western outfits their familiarity with the modern electronic gadgets



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  • Lifestyle is defined as way of living of individuals, families (households), and societies, which manifest in coping with their physical, psychological, social, and economc environments on a day-to-day basis Lifestyle is expressed in both work and leisure behaviorpatterns and in activities, attitudes, interests, opinions, values, and allocation of income 
  • Snoop dogg, 50 Cent,
  • Back Street girlsModern Eritrean women Images.

Eritrean Youth Identities in the Era of Globalization Eritrean Youth Identities in the Era of Globalization Presentation Transcript

  • Eritrean Youth Identities in the Era of Globalization
    Mannar Indira Srinivasan. & Compiled by
  • Objectives& Methodology
    Lifestyles of Eritrean youth
    Music habits of Eritrean youth
    Ethnography, participant observation and in-depth interviews among Eritrean youth in the age group of 18-25 years.
    Data collected from three residential colonies of Asmara namely Tiravolu, Space 2000, and The German Colony, where the majority houses are connected to satellite TV.
  • Diversified Society
    • 9 ethnic groups and languages
    • 2 major religions
    • Tigrinya speaking Highland Christians
    • Other ethnic language
    speaking lowland Muslims
    • Nature worshipping, matrilineal - Kunamaethnic group
    • Tigrinya, Arabic and English are major languages used for public communication
  • Mass Media in Eritrea
    • State controlled media
    • No freedom of speech and expression as the constitution was not implemented.
    • Single party, authoritarian government
    Only country in the entire continent without a private media today
    • Many journalists have been jailed are without trail
    • Satellite TV started by 1996
  • Favorite channels
    MBC -2 Films
    MTV & the other music channels
    FTV, Citraz and the other fashion TV
    BBC and CNN
    Aljazeera and the other similar
    Arabic news channels
  • Lifestyles
    • Imitation of modern costumes displayed in the film
    • Young women Not wearing ‘ Zuria’
    • Emergence of women as a major workforce
    • The Tigrinya women either plait or braid their hair.
    • Modern women are attending beauty salons
    straightening or coloring their hair
    • Young Asmarian identities are expressed through modern western outfits & their familiarity
    with the modern electronic gadgets.
  • Music Preferences
    • Afro American singers like Bob Marley, 50 scent, P Diddy, & Snoop Doggs are favorite singers
    • Hip-hop and Reggae music are popular.
    • Singers are known for their distinct style exhibited in the form of their hair style, body language, dressing and fast beat in their songs and dances.
  • Music Preferences
    • The Back Street Boys’- I want it that way’, ‘As long as you love me’ are favorite songs
    • peculiar dressing style of wearing heavy metallic/leather tops tore jeans
    • wearing a hanging/stud in one of their ears feminine way of hair dressing with long hair either tied with a band or loosely braided.
    • Young boys are adopting these styles imitating their favorite singers .
    • We like Reggae and hip-hop not because it is very stylish and attractive. It talks about people like us.”
    • It is a carrier of our aspirations, projecting their political and social commentaries.
    Native Music
    • Tigrinya music traditionally relies on solo songs using traditional instrument ‘Krar’
    • Today, they are using western musical instruments like ‘Key boards’, that are capable of mixing various musical instruments .
    • Earlier they sang for attaining statehood
    • Today they are releasing albums imitating western singers
    • Frequently visiting US and Europe for concerts
    • Eritrean Diaspora’s influence.
  • Music Preferences
    • Abraham Afwaerki Michal Fehira, Tesfay Mengisha, Yohanese Tikabo and female artists like Elsa kidane and Helen Meles are household figures of Asmara.
    • They are part of the youth lifestyles exhibited via their walkman, slim and sleek I-pods and MP3 as well as the dress codes and the body language of these singers.
    Music Preferences
    • American jargons and usages like ‘wonn’a be’, and gonn’a be in day toady practice..
    • Writing mobile language b/c(Because)
    • Ur (Your) etc
    • Change in their greeting style-”Waazaa up?” instead of traditional greetings.
    Music Preferences
    • ‘ Back street girls’ and ‘Destiny’s Child’ are popular among girls.
    • . Beyoncé Knowles is their favorite singer
    • ‘Independent women ‘,“Survivor" and "Bootylicious are favorite albums.
    • Hip-hop influence among young girls is seen through blonded hair,
    Music Preferences
    • ‘Singer, songwriter, actress and record produce, Mary J. Blige is an Afro-American, soul, R&B and Hip-hop performer
    • No more Drama’, ‘we are certain that you too” are her albums popular among girls
    • Girls wear the ‘China moon rag’ a scarf &wrist bands the singer wear.
    • Majority youth of highland Asmara are highly attracted to the western lifestyles
    • expressed their willingness to migrate to other countries
    • Western living standards and lifestyles are fixed so deeply in their minds
    • Popular western music genres like Hip-hop, Reggae, Rock and jazz music are part of their daily life.
    • Western music is consumed displaying their thin and sleek mobiles, Mp3s and walkman CDs
  • Conclusion..
    50-Cent; P Diddy, Snoop Doggs and Bob Marley are iconic figures, personified through the youth of Asmara.
    Main streets of Asmara are littered with video and DVD rental shops that circulate Hollywood movies and popular music DVDs like Hip-hop, Pop, Reggae and Rhythms and Blue.
    Young girls try to walk and talk like Julia Robert or AnjaleenaJolee, bleaching their hair to attain European appearance
    piercing their Belly button like singers from the music bands like ‘Destiny’s child or ‘Back Street girls’ and decorating it with a studded stone hanging gracefully
  • Thanks.