Ethiopia is one of the largest states in Africa. Surprisingly, it does not have access to the sea. Here live 90 million people, on the continent more only in Nigeria. Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world, and indeed a state with a rich history. Previously known as Abyssinia, it is the only one in Africa that was never a nobody’s colony. The very word “Ethiopian” is literally translated from Greek as “a man with a tanned face”.
And the term “Ethiopia” occurs in the inscriptions of the IV century. The local highlands were inhabited by people since ancient times, it became one of the first centers of agriculture. The first state on the plateau appeared in the V century BC, when people from Arabia brought here writing, Semitic language, masonry technique. At the beginning of our era, there appeared the early feudal kingdom of Axum, whose port Adulis became an important trading center of Egypt’s trade with India. And since the IV century in the country began to spread Christianity.
Today Ethiopia is a federal republic. At the heart of its economy is agriculture. It employs 85% of working people. Tourism in Ethiopia is just beginning to develop actively. The country attracts its richest history, wildlife, distinct tribes. But people are afraid to go to Ethiopia, perceiving the country through the prism of some myths.
Ethiopia is the poorest country.
The topic of poverty for Ethiopia is relevant. In terms of per capita income, the country is one of the poorest in the world, the average salary is about $ 80 per month. For civilized countries, this amount seems scanty. In terms of local currency, birr, it is about 1500 units. But they are quite enough to purchase every month of essential goods. The same coffee depending on the location in Ethiopia can cost $ 3, pound or birr. For most, this drink is considered affordable. The poorer the countryside, the easier it is to live in it even for a small income. Food is inexpensive. Inequality manifests itself in luxury goods or imported industrial goods. For example, a common Chinese household iron costs 750 barg, which casts doubt on the availability of most ironed shirts. The country is rich in its history and personal relationships, not financial. Ethiopia can also boast of its nature, culture, religious places. There are 80 unique ethnic groups, 84 native languages and 200 dialects. The plant and animal world is famous for its endemicity. All this wealth is located on an area of just two Texas. And if you want, you can find luxury in the country, especially in the capital. An example is the Radisson Hotel in Addis Ababa, opened in 2012. Then there was a summit of the Presidents of the African Union.
It’s dangerous in Ethiopia.
Being in any unfamiliar country, you should exercise the utmost care. Consulates of the United States and Great Britain warn that in Ethiopia it is better to stay away from the border zone of Eritrea. The borders with Somalia, Kenya and Sudan are also dangerous. Periodically, there are reports of the death or abduction of tourists from Europe. But in the slums of foreign megacities there is no less danger than in this country. Ethiopians themselves are polite, generous, calm, with traditions of gratitude and love. Tourists are surprised that locals tend to protect their guests. Tourists are sure to help, will prompt the right road. Aliens for Ethiopians are a small miracle, despite all the ethnic diversity of the country. That’s why tourists are treated more with curiosity than as an object of crime. It’s calm with respect to other African countries. They say that you can even walk at night. This is due to traditional Christian morality.
Ethiopia is dry and deserted.
The percentage of the water surface in the country is slightly higher even than in Egypt. And in the north-west of the country there is Tana Lake with an area of 3600 sq.km.Despite constant reports of hunger and disease, most of the population lives on a green and fertile plateau. The climate is mild and humid, with enough rainfall. Dry and hot climate is characteristic of the eastern regions of the country.
All the Ethiopians are lean and run fast.
Sporting successes of Ethiopian runners have formed a stereotype about the appearance of local residents. But not all of them are capable of a long race. But the equatorial hot mountainous terrain requires a light large volume. In combination with sports, this gives a result. Ethiopians are also very beautiful. They have beautiful curly hair due to excellent genetics.
Ethiopia has not enriched the world in any way.
There are at least three main gifts of the country of our civilization. Ethiopian cuisine is popular in different countries around the world. It is based on a variety of ragout, served on a flat cake. On a common table, usually put a few dishes, so that with the flour product you can try each of them. Yngera acts as the basis of nutrition, and a plate. A festive dinner of scrambled eggs, grilled meats, baked minced meat and Coca-Cola wine will cost about $ 5. Ethiopian food is considered inexpensive, but tasty. Ethiopia is also the spiritual home of the Rastafarian movement. His followers consider the last emperor of the country, Haile Selassie I, the embodiment of God. Before his coronation, he was called Ras Tafari Makonnen. The flag of Rastafari became the tricolor of Ethiopia. Also, the country is one of the leading suppliers of coffee beans. This is the main export of Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is fortunate that the country has always been independent.
The country is proud to have never been a colony. Behind national pride lies a strong self-identification – for 200 years all foreigners who “interfered” with progress have been removed from here. Even without being a supporter of colonialism one can see what England has given to America and India. But Ethiopia, with its 14 major rivers and the greatest water resources, did not have an irrigation system. Even such basic infrastructure as railways and a network of paved roads to supply regions with food and goods was not created. A thousand years ago in Ethiopia, people lived in huts with thatched roofs, smeared with mud. But today little has changed. Farmers live in villages without running water and electricity. It is no accident that the main health problem in Ethiopia is infectious diseases caused by unsanitary conditions and malnutrition. Life expectancy in the country is only 55 years, people die from diseases with which the West is successfully fighting. Perhaps, for a qualitative breakthrough in the development of Ethiopia, the status of someone’s colony for several decades did not suffice.
Developed countries can improve the situation in Ethiopia.
Why does Ethiopia remain one of the poorest countries in the world? Annually it receives billions of dollars of foreign aid, charitable organizations here send free things, food. Hundreds of volunteers donate their time and experience in health and economic development. However, this approach is somewhat flawed – a cyclical culture of dependence is created. The situation is similar to that when a poor man is given a fish, not a fishing rod and the ability to use it. Money is collected even by celebrities, but where is the end point of this donor assistance? It maintains the way of life that has developed over the decades, without helping progress.
Ethiopia is a dirty and smelly country.
Tourists are surprised that Ethiopia does not smell of sweaty or dirty bodies. Local residents can be in the dust, with unwashed hair, but do not have an unpleasant smell. And the country is clean. People sweep each morning in front of their hut, and at the first opportunity they bathe and wash in the river.
Ethiopia is the land of the Queen of Sheba.
The Bible says how the queen of Sheba (the ruler of the country Saba, Sheba) arrived to the king of Israel Solomon, in order to taste his wisdom and test him with riddles.Commentators believe that the story should be interpreted in such a way that the mysterious ruler arrived in Israel in order to conceive a child from a great ruler. Legends of Ethiopia say that their rulers are descendants of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Who was this woman – remains a mystery. Historians believe that the queen originated from Egyptian civilization. It is believed that the ancient Egyptian name Hatshepsut and translated as “Queen of Sheba”. This woman-pharaoh lived in 1508-1458 years BC. making his country prosperous. Jesus Christ considered her the queen of the South. But where exactly this kingdom was located – one can only guess. In any case, this story is rather vague in order to believe in it. And is it not humiliating for a queen of a sovereign country to travel a thousand miles just to conceive a child?
The last representative of the Solomon dynasty became Emperor Haile Selassie I.
Before the coronation of this man, Ras Tafari Makonnen was called. But his father was Ras Makonnen, born a peasant near Gar Moulet and became a military, the head of the province. When Ras Tafari became emperor, he returned his name, received at the baptism – Haile Selassie (Holy Trinity Power). Other emperors of the “Solomon Dynasty” had similar counterfeit biographies. References to their kinship with the famous kings of antiquity only added to the rulers of authority.
On the territory of Ethiopia, there is a civilization that has been here for 3 thousand years.
The cradle of civilization is the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates, but if you think more broadly – Fertile crescent with the Nile delta. According to archaeologists, the count of world civilization should be taken from 10-4 thousand years BC. So the claims of the Abyssinians in this time interval are quite fitting. However, the peoples of the khabesh who live in Ethiopia today do not have such a long history. In 1888, the colonialists of Emperor Menelik destroyed free nations in the south, integrating their remains into the old Abyssinian empire. Its history is several hundred years old. In a few days, civilization can not die. There are no archaeological remains linking the seven-lingual Habshes with traces of the ancient civilizations of Ethiopia. But the local people want to believe in their unique history and roots.
Habesh tribes live according to their unique calendar.
There was no invention. Local residents used to, and continue now, the Julian calendar. He appeared as a result of the reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. Such a system of chronology came to Ethiopia together with the Coptic Orthodox Church. And when the whole world switched to the Gregorian calendar, the monks of the khabesh remained faithful to the traditions. Now in Ethiopia they boast of their unique chronology, not even suspecting that the calendar is not them, but a foreign one.
Ethiopia has nothing to do with colonization.
It has already been said that nobody really colonized the country. But there is one interesting nuance – the Abyssinians are the only black people who colonized their brethren on the continent. Naturally, the Europeans helped in this. The Abyssinians were the only ones representing Africa at the famous conference in Berlin, where the great European countries decided to fight for the colonies on the Black Continent. Emperor Menelik represented Abyssinia as a Christian fellow. Europeans helped him with weapons that went to conquer other free nations. So Menelik defeated the free southerners, making their remains their subjects. The emperor became the largest slaver, selling free people of his colonies. Proud Abyssinians do not like to talk about this dark side of their history. Ethiopians present themselves as truly free people, forgetting that they themselves have destroyed other nations and plunged them into slavery.
Ethiopia is the only African country to come up with its own alphabet.
And this myth was invented by local elites to emphasize its importance to its neighbors. Habash people use the alphabet geez (Ethiopian letter).But it was not invented here, but simply borrowed from the ancient Arabians. The Proto-Sinai letter with its alphabet formed the basis of the alphabet of Geez. It was common in Sinai, Middle Egypt and Canaan. Many names of letters in the Ethiopian letter are related to the Canaanite, obviously having a more ancient foundation.
In Ethiopia, you can freely visit the temples.
In this country the church officially decided that tourists should be paid for entering the church. The ticket costs 5 dollars, and it will be kindly sold by the priest at the entrance. New urban churches are relieved of this, but in any ancient churches have to pay. The main shrine of the country, the city of Lalibela, represents three groups of temples. The entrance here officially costs 55 dollars, and a group of three or more people is also supposed to pay a guide.
Ethiopia is a Christian country.
Ethiopia is indeed the only traditional Christian country on the continent. But the positions of Islam are strong on the periphery. In addition, Lutheranism is rapidly developing here. In total, Christians in the country are about 60%, and Muslims – 33%.
The Ark of the Covenant is kept in Ethiopia.
This shrine is considered the main thing in the country. There are legends that in due time the Ark was taken out of Jerusalem, along the Nile was forwarded to the island of Tana-Kirkos, where they hid 800 years. And now the rarity is kept in Axum, in the cathedral in a special chapel. But you can not see the Ark, the Gentiles are forbidden even to approach the building. Only a special priest can enter it at all. He before death calls his successor. But no one saw the Ark of the Covenant in the eye. Yes there are many other legends that call the other location of this shrine.
Divine services in Ethiopia are similar to ours.
Divine services last for 8-10 hours. At the same time, music is playing, drums are beating, many are dancing, and some are asleep. There is even a special prayer staff, which you can lean on and take a nap. There is no special respect for the objects of the ministry-they can lie in the mud in the church. The altar of Christian churches is arranged in the likeness of the Holy of Holies of Jerusalem – only priests can go there. The worship is in the ancient language of Geez, which only the monks understand. A worship of relics is not practiced here. Ethiopians are not baptized, but they worship icons and sacred books, applying their heads to them. Believers worship the cross, study the lives of saints.