9 December: ‘Carnival’ of Ethiopians’ Version

6 Mons Ago 849
9 December: ‘Carnival’ of Ethiopians’ Version


After a series of programs in the lead up to 9 December- which is a day for nations, nationalities and peoples in Ethiopia, participants have finally made it. Several thousands of participants - including mayors, regional heads and high-level government officials - are now in Jigjiga, Capital City of Ethiopia’s Somali Region marking the 2023 edition of the colorful event.

As December 9 falls every year, Ethiopians from every corner of the country and head to a host city –which takes turns to welcome fellow guests---- a setting which creates a suitable landscape for nations, nationalities and peoples meet to consult for their destiny and   edit errors of old days--- a self-discovery--- you can call it   a carnival of Ethiopian version.

Ahead of the day –as delegates travel through cities to their destinations, they portray their identities along the way, showcase their long unnoticed cultural beauties------treasures which would have moved Ethiopia forward better than what’s today if had been wisely exploited – better than the way it has been for the last 18 years. Troupes of respective nations and peoples as ever before paraded, over the days, have portrayed and showcased their identities and traditional outfits –some of which might have stretched back into centuries.

The day, as many scholars cheer it up, has created opportunities for groups across the country to closely know one another, demonstrate their virtues and treasures, showed their untold identity to fellow Ethiopians, to narrate  how  diverse and widespread Ethiopia is ----which was sadly condemned not to be noticed nearly until recently.

It’s true that an occasion like this is of paramount significance for creating a landscape for statecraft. As groups gather in their typical identity, they feel respected, valued and understood, and get a sort of opportunity to show their real identity to the rest of the nation, and they equally have the room to learn more about respective nations and nationalities.

The day also can be used as a stop for the nations to evaluate historic errors, to correct twisted rhetoric and unwelcoming preaches which might have been spread with a hidden motive to distort history with badmouth. The day as PM Abiy Ahmed hailed it Friday would pave the way for Ethiopia and its historians to take a pause and emend long twisted errors, some of which might be potentially dangerous if not timely corrected.

It is crystal clear that nations and nationalities have made sacrifices in the nation building, equally fell in the attempt statecraft, though few dare to favor some groups over the other. Ethiopia today is made of Ethiopians entirely, no group contributed neither lesser nor greater than the other as in some crooked narratives crafted for ill motives.  

As PM Abiy coined it via his congratulatory message he extended Friday, nations, nationalities and peoples have transcended the tests of time, paying all the sacrifices in shaping Ethiopia to be what’s today. They then have uncompromised status to be treated ‘freely, fairly and equally, but a responsibility as well to lift Ethiopia out of poverty.

Its boldly spelt that despite differences of religion, geography and physiological makeup, Ethiopians have transcended the test of time, have remained united and interwoven by a common thread which is unbreakable bond ----which is national integration.

Nations, nationalities and peoples are connected with shared history, culture, and values. Their unity is the foundation on which the nation stands. And the day takes the credit for being a cohesive device to further   shaping the present and the future. The unique carnival has involved through can foster a sense of belongingness, shared identity and mutual understanding.

In fact, our distant past was not spotless---as it was everywhere in the world, Ethiopians endured some unfriendly episodes of history, not all groups were treated equally and fairly.

Some groups were undeniably denied the right to be seen, promoted and developed, which has now gone never to be returned. But on 9 December, Ethiopians are encouraged to look beyond where they come from.  Nations, nationals should refer the old mistakes only for reference to how not to repeat the same old wrong. The so-called activists, cadres, the media and, even some government officials need to be cautious of words they pick to refer our distant past---which was both ugly and smart.

It is then brazenly evident that neither a group nor even an individual   want to get left behind; we all crave to be valued, respected and respectfully as witnessed particularly as the 9th of December falls, in particular. The day then needs to be nurtured, turned into a carnival of Ethiopian version.