Contrary to the optimism with which we received it, The Ethiopian Millennium has turned out to be not so cheerful after all. War, famine and inflation are casting their ugly shadows on our “growing” economy before the year is out. And some are voicing their concern lest the “77 dirQ” pays our luckless nation a visit once again.
Still, there is one thing to be comforted with for those willing to see it. The Millennium has made an Ethiopian party out of EPRDF!! If the various Ethnic programs that’s been getting wide coverage on Radio Ethiopia and TV aren’t enough of a pointer, all the nationalistic songs we been watching on ETV (that the government used to treat with ultimate distaste in the past) should bear ample witness.
EPRDF, the party that jeered at anyone who dared call himself using the “E” word and freely considered him/her as something of an Anti-Christ, has been shamlessly Christened an Ethiopian party, complete with the Unified vision and mightiness of 3 thousand years [I know!!, it would have sound funny if it wasn’t so tragic].
And come 5th of July 2008, a day henceforth would come to be known as “The Ethiopian Flag Day”, we will all celebrate this Christening with style! Waving, according to Ethiopian Review, 600 thousand to 1 million “Bandiras” of which the sister hasn’t managed to get hold of one. Not that this sister has ever been a “flag” person. The first time she went out flag-shopping is the morning in which her husband told her he’s getting a truck to drive to work. She felt it her duty as an Ethiopian & a wife to have her American husband drive a car that has the green, yellow and red waving on it. Come to think of it, her husband has more traditional clothes and Ethiopian CD collections than she could ever get her hands on. Not to mention a fascination with her country & people she dismisses with the just boredom of a person who has yet to leave home to/and appreciate it.
Now, I know this change of heart on EPRDF’s side may not be welcomed with the conviction & ecstasy it would have been 17, or even 7 years ago. There would be none of that patriotic jubilation with which our Prime Minister’s heralding Eritrea’s invasion was received. “Fool me once”, my fellow abeshas may bitterly say, “shame on me! Fool me three times, you’ll be the only audience to your own radio”. A bitterness that would no doubt cast a shadow on the festive mood of a day that would have chocked Ethiopians up under normal circumstances.
I would like to see it as the first step in attempting to help heal those wounds the rulling party willingly inflicted upon these doubting parties, and feel it shows a readiness to explore other [new] ways to bring the country under one flag: the way many would have liked to see it – in time past! If only..
Still, better late than never! Right?!
- Millennium festival secretariat finalizes preparations for Flag Day celebration
- MoE says Flag Day would consolidate mutual understanding, tolerance