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Ethiopia Was Colonised

Posted by addisethiopia on July 5, 2017

By Mastewal Taddese Terefe

We kept the imperialists at bay, but it wasn’t enough.

Like many African countries that were colonised by the British, Ethiopia’s educational system strongly privileges the English language. I learnt this first hand going through school in the capital Addis Ababa.

Along with my classmates across the vast country, I was taught in my local language from Grades 1 to 6 (ages 6 to 12). But after that, the language of instruction switched. History, maths, sciences and the rest were now taught in English, while Ethiopia’s official language Amharic became its own separate subject.

Growing up in Ethiopia, fluency in English was considered a mark of progress and elite status. At my school, we were not only encouraged to improve our proficiency, but made to feel our future depended on it. When I was in grade 4, one of my tasks as a class monitor was to note down names of classmates I heard speaking Amharic during English lessons or lunchtime. Our teacher would enforce a 5-cent penalty for every Amharic word that slipped through our lips during lessons.

At the same time, we were proudly educated in Western history and literature. I learnt to take pleasure in reading books in English. I listened to American songs. And I looked to emulate the lives of the people I saw in Hollywood films.

At primary and secondary school, we were taught about Ethiopian history too. But many aspects of the country – from its philosophy to its architecture to its unique methods of mathematics and time-keeping – were neglected. I left school feeling I lacked a coherent understanding of my country’s history. And today, like most of my classmates, I would struggle to write even a short essay in Amharic.

My experience no doubts resonates with many people across Africa, where colonialism elevated European languages and history in the education system while devaluing local languages, methods of instruction, and histories. This is what has spurred vigorous movements across the continent today calling for the academy to be decolonised.

The strange thing though is that Ethiopia was never colonised in the first place.

Native Colonialism

So how did the country’s school system come to be the way it is? According to Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes’ brilliant new book, Native Colonialism: Education and the Economy of Violence Against Traditions in Ethiopia, the answer is that Ethiopia was “self-colonised” and that education played a big part.

In the academic’s extensive study, he sets out to show “how and at what cost western knowledge became hegemonic in Ethiopia”. He suggests that the 1868 British expedition to Abyssinia, which resulted in the British looting massive national treasures and intellectual resources that Emperor Tewodros II had accumulated over time, was a turning point in Ethiopians’ perception of power. Although the Emperor’s defeat in Magdala did not result in the country’s colonisation, it brought about a new, outward-looking consciousness. “This reaction to the European gaze created the desire to acquire European weapons in order to defend the country from Europe,” writes Woldeyes.

Successive rulers maintained a contradictory relationship with Europe – between friendship and enmity – until Emperor Haile Selassie, who ruled up to 1974, initiated a period of radical westernisation post-WW2. In that process, Woldeyes explains, Haile Selassie entrusted certain elites to establish Ethiopia’s modern education system. This group was educated in Western languages and teachings. They embraced European epistemology as a singular, objective basis of knowledge, seeing it as synonymous with “modernity” and naturally superior to the local.

These elites, who Woldeyes refers to as “native colonisers”, introduced a system of education into Ethiopia that mimicked Western educational institutions. Contributions from traditional Ethiopian educators such as elders, religious leaders, and customary experts were squeezed out.

The result is that Ethiopia’s schools came to lack a meaningful connection with the culture and traditions of the communities in which they are located. Instead, they prepare students in the skill of imitation using copied curricula and foreign languages. Schooling today, argues Woldeyes, is as much a process of unlearning local tradition as it is about learning the art of foreign imitation.

This disconnect at the heart of Ethiopian teaching has many negative ramifications. An education that doesn’t speak to students’ lived experience limits their capacity to create, innovate, and deliver solutions to problems in their surrounding world. It leads young Ethiopians to feel alienated from their own culture, lowers self-esteem, and leads to a disoriented sense of identity.

Moreover, without a comprehensive understanding of their country’s history and politics, graduates lack the knowledge and skills to confront the nation’s ongoing problems.

Text Kills, Meaning Heals

In Native Colonialism, Woldeyes does not stop at diagnosing the problem. He goes on to propose remedies – namely that the education system be reconstituted on the foundations of Ethiopia’s “rich legacy of traditional philosophy and wisdom”.

He argues that: “before the rise of western knowledge as the source of scientific truth, one’s political and social status in Ethiopia was justified on the basis of traditional beliefs and practices”. In the tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, he says, education was not a means to an end, but part of “an endless journey” of knowledge-seeking. This quest was grounded in the two core values of wisdom and humility.

Woldeyes argues that we need to put these core values back at the centre of the country’s education, which should reflect indigenous beliefs, knowledges and philosophies. This does not mean foreign ideas should be rejected. Students should be exposed to a variety of teachings. But they should, he says, be disseminated through an Ethiopian frame of reference.

Woldeyes argues that this approach was the norm in Ethiopian education for centuries. Through trade and diplomatic relations, scholarship from as far as Asia and Europe has been making its way to Ethiopia for hundreds of years. But traditionally, scholars did not simply translate these works into local languages.

Instead, they used an Ethiopian interpretative paradigm called Tirguamme “to evaluate the relevance and significance of knowledge”. Woldeyes defines this as “a process that searches for meaning by focusing on the multiplicity, intention, irony and beauty of a given text”. This unique process of inquiry is based on a traditional principle that literally translates as “text kills, but meaning heals”. It is apparent in different Ethiopian cultural practices such as the multi-layered poetic practice of “wax and gold”, allegorical puzzle games, the art of judicial debating, and storytelling.

Woldeyes’s methodology offers a potential framework for reforming the current education system in Ethiopia. It envisions a system of education centred on local priorities and ways of being, whilst also incorporating ideas from around the world.

Decolonising The Academy

Woldeyes’s ground-breaking analysis demonstrates that despite the fact that no colonial power managed to conquer Ethiopia, the country did not escape being colonised in other ways.

Moreover, his study shows that decolonising education across Africa will require an investigation of how indigenous epistemologies were violently discarded. It will also entail a critical study of the modes of scholarship previously side-lined as “traditional”.

Woldeyes’s research suggests that the decolonisation movement cannot be confined to the four walls of elite educational institutions. It must reach out beyond to members of society that were previously closed out, such as traditional leaders, elders, and others.

Emperor Tewodros believed that Ethiopia needed European weapons to defend the country from Europe. Today, we may need native epistemologies to take back the country from native colonisation.

Source

My Note: If Ethiopians were teaching and using their own numerical methods and mathematical calculation, they would have created computers in the 18th century.

Is There Some Connection Between God & Mathematics?

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Posted in Conspiracies, Ethiopia, Infos | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“ሚስ ኢትዮጵያ” እህታችንን፡ ሳያት ደምሴን በአረቦች ጨርቅ ተሸፋፍና ሳያት ተረበሽኩ፡ አቅለሸለሸኝ

Posted by addisethiopia on April 19, 2017

ፈረንጁ ወይም ነጩ ኢትዮጵያዊ” በሚል ስም ብዙ ተመልካቾች የነበሩትን ይህን ፊልም የመጀመሪያው የጀርመን ቴሊቪዥን ጣቢያ ባለፈው የፈርንጅ ገና በዓል ሳምንት አሳይቶት ነበር።

በተቻለ መጠን በጎ በጎው ነገር ላይ ያተኮረ ፊልም ቢሆንም፤ ያው እንደተለመደው ከአንዳንድ ግትርነት ነፃ አይደለም። ሳያት ደምሴ (ዓያንቱ) — ምንም እንኳን እናቷ መስቀል የአደረገች ኢትዮጵያዊት መሆኗ ቢታይም – እርሷ ግን የአረብ ሙስሊሞች ልብስ እንድትለብስ መደረጓ ስህተት እና ቅር የሚያሰኝና ተይ ማነሽ!” የሚያስብል ነው። ይታየን፡ ቆንጆዋ “ሚስ ኢትዮጵያ” የአረብን ባህል እንድታስተዋውቅ ስትደረግ! ይህ በጣም አሳፋሪና ትልቅ ቅሌትም ነው!

ቀነስ አድርጌ ያቀርብኩት ይህ ፊልም በብዛት ጀርመንኛ ቋንቋ የሚነገርበት ቢሆንም፡ አንዳንዶቹ ውይይቶች ላይ አማርኛ አለፍ አለፍ ብሎ ስለገባበት ዋናውን መልዕክት በቀላሉ መረዳት ይቻላል።

ፈረንጁ ኢትዮጵያዊሳያት ደምሴእና በኢትዮጵያ ፍቅር ሲጠመድ

ከባድ ልጅነት የነበረውና ሚኻልከ የተባለው ጀርመናዊ አንድ ቀን ባንክ ይዘርፍና ወደ አዲስ አበባ ይጠፋል። እዚያም ሲደርስ ቶሎ ብሎ ወደ አንድ ገጠራማ የኢትዮጵያ ክፍል ያመራና ባንዲት ትንሽ መንደር ይሰፍራል። እዚያም ከዚህ በፊት ገጥሞት የማያውቀው አይነት ሞቅታ የተሞላበትን ኢትዮጲያዊ የእንግዳ ተቀባይነት ባህል ይታዘባል። በዚህም ጊዜ ከቆንጆዋ “ዓያንቱ” (ሳያት ደምሴ) ጋር ይተዋወቅና በፍቅር ተጠምዶ መጨረሻ ላይ “አገሩን” ያገኛል፤ አማርኛም መማር ይጀምራል። ቀጥሎም የቡና ልማት ተግባር ላይ ይሠማራል። እነዚህ ሁኔታዎች ቀስ በቀስ ከ ዓያንቱ ጋር ሠርግ ለመደገስ እና ልጅ ለመውለድም መንገዱን ይከፍትለታል።

የሚኻልከ የኢትዮጵያ ህይወት የተተረከው ወደ ኋላ በመመለስና ግለሰቡም ወደ ፍርድ ቤት ችሎት በቀረበበት ወቅት ነበር። ይህም፡ ሚኻልከ በጀርመን ባንክ የዘረፈ ወንጀለኛ በመሆኑ ኢትዮጵያ ተፈልጎ ከተያዘ በኋላ ወደ ትውልድ አገሩ ተመልሶ እስር ቤት ከገባ በኋላ መሆኑ ነው፦

በእስር ቤት እንዳለ ራሱን ለመግደል ይሞክራል፤ በዚህ ጊዜ አንዲት ትጉ የሆነች የፍርድ ተሟጋች ትመጣለታለች። በዚህም ወቅት መናገር አሻፈረኝ ሲል የነበረው ሚኻልከ መተንፈስ ጀመሮ፡ በጀርመን ስለነበረው መራራ የልጅነት ሕይወት እና ካደገ በኋላም በኢትዮጵያ ስለገጠመው ደስተኛ የሆነ ኑሮ በዝርዝር ለእርሷ ያጫውታታል። ይህንም አዲስ መረጃ በፍርድ ቤት ውስጥ በማቅረብ ለስለስ ያለ ፍርድ ያስገኝለታል።

ዋናው የጀርመን ቴሊቪዥን ጣቢያ ይህን ፊልም ያቀረበበት ቀዳሚ ምክኒያት በተለይ በአሁኑ ሰዓት ጀርመን በሙስሊም ስደተኞች በውጥረት ላይ የምትገኝ በመሆኑና ህዝቡም በስደተኛው ላይ እያጉረመረም ስለሆነ፡ የሌላውን ዓለም ትሕትና በኢትዮጵያውያን በኩል ለማሳየት በመሻትና

ሕዝቡንም ለማቀዝቀዝ በማሰብ ይመስላል። በተለይ በ ገና በዓል ሰሞን መታየቱ ያለ ምክኒያት አልነበረም። አረብ አገር ሄደው ይህን መሰል እንግዳ ተቀባይነት እና ሞቅ ያለ ፈገግታ ማግኘት ፈጽሞ አይቻልም። ለዚህም ይመስላል ቆንጆዋን “ሚስ ኢትዮጵያን” ሃያት ደምሴን የአረብ ልብስ እንድትለብስ ያደረጓት። የእኛ አጥባቂ ክርስቲያናዊነት በጣም ያስቀናቸዋል፣ ያንገበግባቸዋል!

ባህላዊና ሃይማኖታዊ አለባበሶች፡ ልክ እንደ ምስል፡ በተመልካቹ ህሊና ውስጥ ቶሎ የመቀረጽ ብቃት ያላቸውና ለረጅም ጊዜም የሚቆይ ትውስታን የሚያመጡ ናቸው። ለዚህም ነው በተለይ የኢትዮጵያ ሙስሊሞች ኢትዮጵያኛውን ባህላዊ አለባበስ፡ ይህን ሁሉ ዘመን ከኛ ጋር እየኖሩ፡ ለመቀበል አሻፈረኝ የሚሉት። “ቀበቶህን አጥብቅ!“ የምትለው ኢትዮጵያ የራሷ የሆነ ቆንጆ የአለባበስ ባህል ያላት አገር ሆና በውስጧ የሚኖሩት “ኢትዮጵያውያን” ግን የኢትዮጵያን የባህል ልብስ አንለብስም እያሉ የአረቡን ልቅ እና ሰነፈኛ አለባበስ ይመርጣሉ። ዊስል ስሚዝና ባለቤቱ ኢትዮጵያ መጥተው የባህል ልብሳችንን ይለብሳሉ፤ ታዋቂቷ ኢትዮጵያዊት ግን የአረቡን ልብስ ለዓለም ታስተዋውቃለች። አይገርምም?

እባብ ቀስበቀስ በእግሩ ይሄዳል!

አዎ! ይህ በጣም ይገርማል! ከበስተጀርባውም እባባዊ ተንኮል ስላለበት ደም ያፈላል። በእስልምና ዘንድ ምስሎች የተከለከሉ ናቸው፤ ሆኖም እንደ ምስል ከሚጠቀሙባቸው መንገዶች መካከል አንዱ አለባበሳቸው ነው፤ ይህም ቁልፍ የሆነ ሚና ይጫወታል። ክርስቲያኖች በራሳቸው ህይወት ብቻ ላይ በማተኮር እራሳቸውን ችለው መኖር ይችላሉ፡ የእስልምና ተከታዮች ግን ልክ እንደ ነቀርሳ ጥገኞች ናቸው፤ ጤናማውን ህብረተሰብ መጠጋት ግዴታቸው ነው፡ በውስጣቸው የታመቀውን ሺህ ጋኔን በተለይ በክርስቲያኖች ላይ እያራገፉ ማስገባት የመጀመሪያው ተልዕኳቸው ነው። ለዚህ በግብጽ አገር በኮፕት ወገኖቻችን ላይ ለሺህ ዓመት የተካሄድው ጸረክርስቲያን ዘመቻ ትልቅ ማስረጃ ነው። ኮፕቶች የራሳቸውን ባህል፣ ቋንቋና አለባበስ ለማጣት የበቁት በሰይፍ ብቻ ሳይሆን፡ ለሙስሊሞች ጋር ተደበላልቀው በጉርብትና ለመኖር በመብቃታቸው ነው። እንደ አምደጺዮን እና ዮሐንስ የመሳሰሉት ድንቅ ኢትዮጵያውያን ንጉሦች፡ ህዝብ ክርስቲያኑ እና ሙስሊሙ በአንድ ላይ በአንድ አካባቢ መኖር እንደሌለባቸው አስቀድመው ያስጠነቅቁን ነበር። ይህን አሁን ግልጥ ብሎ የምናየው ነው፤ ህዝበ ክርስቲያኑ በጣም ሊያስብበት የሚገባው ጉዳይ ነው።

ሙስሊሞች የሚፈልጓቸውን ግለሰቦችና ህዝቦች እንደ እባብ ነው ለስለስ ባለ መልክ የሚቀርቧቸው። ለምሳሌ፡ እጅ ለእጅ መሳሳምን፣ እስላማዊ የአረበኛ ቃላቶችን ደጋግመው መለፍለፍን፡ ሳቅአልባ ቁጡነታቸውን እንዲሁም አረባዊ ስነምግባሮቻቸውን እና አለባበሳቸውን ያለምንም ግድጃ ቀስበቀስ ነው የሚያለማምዱት። “ከ አህያ ጋር የዋለ…“ ይባል የለ! ከዚያም አንድ አካባቢ ላይ ሙጥኝ ብለው በመኖር ቡና አፍልተው፡ ቄጤማ ጎዝጉዘው፡ “ጀባ ጀባ ውጭ ያለህ ግባ!„ እያሉ ወደ ውስጣቸው ማስገባት ይጀምራሉ። ህፃናት ሴቶችን መግረዝ እና ወዘተ የመሳሰሉትን አጸያፊ ባሕሎችን አጠገባቸው ለሚኖሩ እስላም ላልሆኑ ማህበረሰቦች የሚያካፍሉት በዚህ መልክ ነው። በኋላም – ይህ ዋናው ዒላማቸው ነው የክርስቲያኑን መንፈስ በማድከም ስጋውን ወደ መግደል ያመራሉ፤ ማንነቱንና ነፍሱን ነጥቀው ለዲያብሎስ አባታቸው ለማስረከብ ይሞክራሉ።

ግን በመንፈስ በጣም ጠንካራ የሆኑትን ኢትዮጵያውያን ክርስቲያን የእግዚአብሔር ልጆች በፍጹም አልቻሏቸውም፣ ወደፊትም አይችሏቸውም።

የመጀመሪያው ቪዲዮ ወደ መጨረሻ ላይ እነደሚታየው ይህ እስላማዊ የአጋንንት መንፈስ የያዛቸው ክርስቲያን ወገኖቻችን በዚህ መልክ የዲያብሎስ ጥቃት እንደደረሰባቸው በግልጽ መስካሪ ነው።

ለእኛ በሩ ዝግ በሆነው ዓለም አቀፋዊ የፊልም እና ሜዲያ መድረክ ላይ፡ ሳያት ደምሴ የኢትዮጵያን ሳይሆን ይህን የሰነፍ አረቦች አለባበስ (ሰነፍና ዝልግልግ ነው ይህን የሚለብስ) እንድታስተዋውቅ መደረጓ በጣም የሚያሳዝን ነው። የማን ምርጫ ይሆን? የአረቡ ጨርቅ ቆንጆ ፊቷን ሸፍኗት ሳያት በጣም ነበር ያቅለሸለሸኝ። ቆርጬ ባስገባሁት ፊልሙ ውስጥ በጋኔን የተያዘችው እናት ይህን ጋኔናዊ የአረብ አለባበስ በጣም በሚያስገርም መልክ ነው ያቀረበችልን፤ መስጊድ ሳይቀር አላቸው። ሁሉም መገጣጠሙ በጣም የሚገርም ነው! እናት ቤተክርስቲያናችን አለባበስን በሚመለከት መመሪያዎችን መስጠቷ ያለምክኒያት አልነበረም። ክርስቲያን የሆኑ ሴቶች ይህን ዓይነት ልብስ ካላቸው አሁኑኑ ቶሎ ብለው እንዲያቃጥሉት ይመከራሉ!

ዩቲውብ ፊልሙን ስለሚከለክል ሦስቱንም ክፍሎች እዚህ መመልከት ይቻላል፦

P.S: የ “አረመኑ እልቂት” ፊልም ዋናው ተዋናይ “ምካኤል” የሳያት ደምሴም ፍቅረኛ “ሚኻልክ ወይም ሚካኤል ያባላል።

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Posted in Curiosity, Ethiopia, Faith, Infotainment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

In Ethiopia’s Capital, a Resurgent Jazz Scene

Posted by addisethiopia on November 14, 2014

On a recent Sunday evening, a stylish audience in their 20s packed Mama’s Kitchen, a wood-and-glass lounge on the fourth floor of an otherwise closed shopping center near the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. They were there to hear an adventurous young pianist, Samuel Yirga, as he careened between free jazz, études, R&B and the popular local style known as Ethio-jazz, a bewitching genre that fuses jazz with traditional Ethiopian music.

Mr. Yirga’s fingers flew across the keyboard, and the crowd nodded their heads reverently even through deep forays into dissonance. The musician’s intricate arrangements for his band featured psychedelic guitar lines and funky drumming, but the focus remained on the piano melody, which Mr. Yirga accentuated with the kind of ornaments and leaps characteristic of Ethiopian music.

I think we Ethiopians love our own thing more than other things,” the dreadlocked 29-year-old, who has signed with Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records label, said before the concert. “We respect and love other cultures, but we love our own music, our own food, dance and clothes the most.”

Mama’s Kitchen is one of several venues featuring different jazz styles — from swing to acoustic, instrumental to free jazz — that have sprung up in the Ethiopian capital in recent years. The resurgent music scene is far from the only change occurring in this frenetic city of nearly four million.

Bulldozers have created canyons between the palm trees planted on busy boulevards to make way for a light rail system, set to debut in 2015. Domed Orthodox churches and tiny stalls with tin roofs and painted signs are interspersed with brand-new skyscrapers, glass-fronted malls and the spaceship-like complex that houses the headquarters of the African Union. During rush hour, visitors can spend a lot of time listening to Ethiopian pop in the Soviet-era blue Lada sedans that serve as taxis.

Nowadays jazz concerts take place all over the city, and on nearly every night of the week a clarinet is being played in a mirrored discothèque in an old hotel, or in a smoky one-room club near the airport. But even though Ethio-jazz dates from the 1960s, its reappearance in the capital is a fairly new development.

Continue reading…

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Posted in Ethiopia, Infotainment | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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