Metropolis of The Youth: Forget Europe, the Future lives in Addis Abeba
Posted by addisethiopia on January 15, 2014
How lucky are South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, or even China to have such a generous neighbor like Japan which helped them transform and develop themselves in a single generation?
During his visit to Ethiopia, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan would focus on Africa’s young people and women in “the continent that carries the hopes of the world” On the other hand, forces of darkness – our long-time enemies – are out there to destroy these pillars of our society the Japanese PM was talking about: Women & children.
The following is an in-depth and beautifully-written article by German journalist and writer, Andrea Hanna Hünniger about an emotional, and rather objective aspect of her surprising discovery concerning the coming dynamic generation of Ethiopians. She identifies and compares the lifestyles of Addis Abeba and Berlin city-dwellers.
Her diary got a relatively high readers resonance – for a Africa-relevant story –however, almost all the comments were filled with envy, mockery and ignorance towards Africans and the potential development of their continent – one can note with incredulity that anti-African racism is still a feature of European public discourse. For now, it seems, the only thing, that Europe can still do better than others in Africa is military intervention.
“Forget Europe, the Future lives in Addis Abeba” is the title of the article published recently in one of my favorite European dailies, the prestigious „WELT“
Some of the most interesting comparative facts observed by Ms. Hanna Hünniger’s were:
I’m bored with news about the coalition-negotiations, weather reports, the bling bling bishop, blablabla… I said, I’ve to go to Africa. Europe and its population are aging, in Ethiopia, the average age is 18 years – so, who finds life boring in Germany needs to go to Ethiopia – there, you can feel the future in the air
In Addis Abeba, I see everyday hundreds of runners during training. Over two thousand meters above sea level, here you’ve ideal training conditions. A nation that is not easy to beat in a continuous endurance running
Walking in Faith
Unlike Berlin, in Addis, many hundreds of people run a spiritual marathon by going to the Orthodox Christian Churches three times a day
In less spiritual Berlin everything is still and quite on a day like Sunday – shops and offices are closed. Yet, in Addis Abeba we experienced the loudest Sunday of our life…crowded street corners, the shops, the music, the traffic. Though we taught a person somehow needs a day of rest like on a Sunday, it feels like Africa is on the move, that the future looks rosy
Kind Ethiopians – Aggressive Europeans
Ethiopians are so sweet and very friendly. I never heard something unkind from an Ethiopian. Addis city proposes such a loving and an adventurous heart I often felt like a princess from Berlin. In Berlin we are hard, both on ourselves and on the stranger: we defend hard against our way of life. Living in an anxious stagnation, we invented our fake factors of development and growth. W seem to have lost our sense of reality. When something moves it’s most likely at a wrong place and time. We deny the fact that the way of life we now chose to lead is wrong – as it abuts the natural border, we quite often tend to pretend as if everything is fashionable, modern, and it’s OK – in denial, business as usual!
No Pain – No Gain
In Ethiopia, I realize for the first time in my life that I have to do something, and recognize that no one in the world comes with a mission to save the world. My stay in Ethiopia gave me an opportunity to discover the feeling that is lost at home to me. I observed that I literally have nothing to do in Berlin, I must not participate in anything – and I do not have to justify the fact that I do not participate. What I learn in Africa, is to get moving again. I am learning to become a citizen again. It sounds very old-fashioned, but I have to get used to it.
There are many things that baffle understanding and cannot be explained about Ethiopia. Like the mystery abut The Ark of The Covenant. I can make a reassuring remark that not even the NSA could be able break into the Ark. When I met Lucy, the three-million year old woman, I said to myself, I come from Africa and I should probably be going back there – at least, internally.
New York Times’ Lists Addis Abeba as Travel-Hot Spot in 2014
What do Addis Adeba, Ethiopia, Frankfurt, Germany and Christchurch, New Zealand all have in common? They’re among the 52 Places to Go in 2014, according to The New York Times.
The global round-up showcased Addis Abeba as a city with an ambitious art scene that heads toward the international stage.
Here is what the NYT wrote:
Building on a strong historical legacy (Addis boasts one of East Africa’s oldest art schools) are a host of events scheduled for 2014: a photography festival, two film festivals and a jazz and world music festival. Thanks to the city’s diverse art institutions and galleries, including the artist-in-residence village Zoma Contemporary Art Center and the Asni Gallery (really more an art collective than a gallery), there is an art opening at least once a week. Even the local Sheraton puts on “Art of Ethiopia,” an annual show of new talent. But it’s the National Museum that, in May and June, will host this year’s blockbuster exhibit, “Ras Tafari: The Majesty and the Movement,” devoted to Emperor Haile Selassie I and Rastafarianism.