On love & “yenuro wudinet”

March 27, 2008 at 9:14 am 3 comments

Chewatan chewata yanesawal newwna, Sistu’s mention of Gigi’s song: “Enen YerAbegn” (otherwise known, to this sister atleast, as the Amharic version of John Lennon‘s “Love is all we need”) reminded me something that’s been bugging me whenever I came across *it* and Tilahun Gessese’s “Migbma Moltoal”.

I don’t have the least interest in debating if love is indeed all we need (however true the statement would feel on lonely, but otherwise “full to the brim”, Saturday evenings when every one of your friends seem to be out and about enjoying themselves)! “Unlike the folks at Hallmark would have you believe” Zadie Smith argues (not her exact words) “Love is not all we need. ‘Clean Water’ is what we need. Electricity! Education”!. All those mundane, unromantic things that would probably not make a cute song!

The following is going to sound unpatriotic, but it’s no mystery to any of us Ethiopians (and the rest of the world, unfortunately) that we’ve never had food surplus since ….. ever! Sure, “Michael dabo” used to be sold for 10 cents a piece two decades ago. But that’s also the time in which my father and mother’s income put together barely comes to 400 birr a month and they had to chip in for the keeping of both their extended families.

That’s why our holidays & festivities have too much food (and “qUntan”) in them. Did you know? I didn’t! until an older colleague from Tigrai told me (when he heard me complaining how our holidays were fun-less and “all about food”) how that was a tradition brought about by necessity. Back when draught was hitting our country over and over again, and people didn’t have “gotera mulu ehil” “to burn” and “meda mulu keBt” to “refrain from slaying” on a fasting day! How they took “difo dabo beTikesha” and “tela beQimchana” as a gift to family and friends’ house since holidays were the only times in which they could afford to partake-of these luxuries! Tebabro mesrat, tebabro meblat! “That’s how it went for centuries”, he said, “nothing to do with having no fun-bone in our bodies or lack of imagination in our soul as you young’uns seem to think nowadays!”

What a lesson that was! And what a surprise! One of those rare moments that reminded me the thing I love & took pride in about being Ethiopian the most!: the fact that we can always spare something from the little we have, and be there for those we don’t even like when they need a helping hand, or a shoulder to cry on.

Ofcourse, with the mounting inflation rate and the resulting sky rocketing price of “yeFijota eQawoch” (or vice versa, or maybe not); and the need to find yet more “hisets” on the government (and I’m not saying it shouldn’t shoulder the lion’s share of the blame, but the *need* seems to be there even when *it* isn’t) some may gleefully “maMwaret” that history is about to repeat itself! And they may not be far from the truth! The price of “Andd kilo Siga” is 34 birr going 40 (in “Fisleta” too!) and “Sheno Qibe” has hit an all time high of 70 birr a kilo! We may, therefore, start eating them in rounds, like “equb”! Better yet, may finally decide to become vegetarians and have skinnier, healthier, bodies (the minute the price of “Fosolia” came down to 3 birr a kilo, like it was about a year ago, and timatim’s stayed at 4). This sister could definitely do with a healthier diet thrown into her evenings. As “QiQil dinich bechew”, “QiQil dinich beMitmita”, “QiQil Dinich Safi” seems to be all she eats nowadays J. Plus a handful of snow for “mawerareja”, and what do you find? A plump little woman whose friends & families refer to as “Sasha”, who ties her “shaash” under her chin while dancing to an accordion “muZiQa”.

Everything is so “meChemering” these days (the “giShbet”, the “muQet”) “even sostu silasewoch amist honewal”, according to a friend. Funny! Yet, perhaps true too!. I mean what with everyone going “religious”  nowadays (another “yenuro wudinet” result, perhaps? LeSiga baYimech leNefs mas’seb?!) which I can tell by the many spiritual songs they have started playing on mini buses (one of them about the Zemari’s decision to follow the “the good Samaritan’s” example, who he said didn’t open his mouth ‘before his shearers’) things may have become a handful to [just] 3 Silasewoch!

Still, I know better days would come! When we can manage to become better people, that is! So it’s not an open and shut case. There is hope for us. With in us! Things will be better.  Maybe not in the next 20 years. But some day! 

So.. No! Love is, infact, all we have right now [babe!]. All we ever have/had! That’s why Ethiopia is still a country of people with “feriHa Egziabher” in them (whatever name the “Egziabher” goes by) instead of the “den of robbers” some of our fellow African countries are said to be known for. 

Peace & prosperity to Ethiopia! Africa! The World!

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Entry filed under: Latest Posts.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RasX  |  March 28, 2008 at 5:41 am

    Where are the true economist to speak out? I should thank my lucky stars I did not end up becoming an Economist of some kind. I might have learn the truth about where all our money goes and done something terrible to these terrible people not looking out for the average hard working citizen. Although water has proven to be the best method to combat fire. I would not trust me to not fight fire with fire. To get back to the subject at hand. Society is at least able to be responsible for herself to be loved the way she wants. No one else is at fault. Government is responsible for himself. So if we wanted to see a difference in government, then we need to get involved. If you’re like me. The Robin Hood in me would scream reform and then I’d be a caste as a nut. I couldn’t live with myself had I such a job. So society is where I place my basket. Where I can caste out any nut out of my life that deems themselves poisonous to me or anyone I love. There might be a smile on my face, but there’s death behind my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I love people.
    ***

  • 2. sistu  |  March 28, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    ChinkilatX (no, no pun intended… ok, maybe a little),

    Simanjee (or simeenjee, altho i doubt that) ….Are people getting incredibly insightful and deep or (while) am I getting shallower? Maybe you had me at “society” and i never quite managed to shrug off the feeling, but you certainly had me mistaking your post for a philosophical rant of sorts. “death behind my eyes?” Minew wendim Gashaye, man new yaskeyemeh? Name the names, place the places, do your “tu” on our open palms waiting under your AgeCh and we shall get right on it. Robin Hoodin askeyimoma manin tegnito ayadrim as long as we have marrow flowing in our migib- but not fikir-deficient bones. Because, you know, you shouldn’t get us wrong either; we, too, love people.

    Now, ya beza indale, how many lucky stars do you really have? I don’t know if you have heard, but the celestial bodies (the lucky ones, at least) had conspired not to set foot in “taCh sefer” (southern hemi) So I am particularly curious to know which kelkala lucky star had broken the pact and placed herself in your possession. If I mis-label myself as the average hard working [citizen], then I would argue that its that very fact that i was born with a lucky star deficit that makes looking out for me a particularly difficult task to accomplish. So, Wendim-tilaye, please don’t kill anyone on my account. If anything, ask your lucky stars to invite more of their friends to come play with us.

  • 3. abyssinia  |  April 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    sistu yeMechish, Beka!

    Ere ebakachihu, how on earth we expect society to be responsible for what’s happening in a country. What place does the society have to fight fire with fire? In fact, it is the government’s responsibility to intervene when prices rise continuously.

    What I hear from my fellow people is that prices continue to rise and incomes can’t keep up with them…as the result people are feeling impoverished.

    Ena, it’s obvious that inflation is here to stay and that current high prices will get even higher. Therefore, the government must wake up and smell the coffee or else prices will skyrocket infinitely…

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