TimQet beEgna sefer
Once upon a time, not long ago, our “sefer”, too, had a TimQet Meda of it’s own. This “meda” (field) served for either horse-riding practice for the wannabee-horsemen and women of “BalDerass”; or a hiding place, or so we were forewarned, for the local snakes and vipers. But that’s not the only reason why I associated dark premonitions with the place, even when it’s filled with the song and dance of TimQet day (song, dance and “Sambusa”, a “durye-MiGib” we weren’t allowed to have any other day of the year).
I went to “Yeka Misrak Chora”, or “Bitweded” as we called it back then, for my junior high education. A tiny public school made up of Addis-Born Kotebe graduates who refused to go to the country-side to teach, holding upto 135 students a classroom, “Bitweded” was located next to this grassy field. When I was grade 7, a woman later discovered to have been a servant girl, was found dead in it’s midst. I haven’t seen the dead girl personally. “Abba Dina”, who I fancied was a broad-shouldered old man with grave eyes, has “taken her” when me and my younger brother Menelik (who always missed out on the fun side of school-life because we lived near and ate lunch @ home) arrived. But what I’ve been told: of the way she lie, the screaming old women who put “netela” on her half naked body, the possibility of her having been strangled by the Lord of the house with whom she may have had an illicit affair, etcetera, have haunted my dreams for days and been the cause of many unimpressive short stories with “Geredwan maan Gedelat?” for a theme. [A riddle “Abba Dina” has yet to resolve, I believe.]
This “meda” hosts blocks after blocks of condominium apartments nowadays. So any man, woman, or “Tabot” interested in being part of the TimQet celebration would have to go all the way to Jan Meda. And many have. By taking a mini-van, a lada or being part of the procession that followed Qebena Kidanemihret’s Tablet (which I sadly observed has become “KerTaTawaa Kidanemihret” for a day, due to the ring-road construction taking place there making the road muddy and impossible to walk on for a group of more than three).
The undersigned was not part of that procession. Preferring to miss out on the colorful celebration than go and risk having her limbs fly hither and thither, she’s refrained from joining the faithful. (As if being a coward wasn’t enough, this TimQet has reminded me I was what “Yes Man”, Jim Carrey’s latest movie, would label a “No”-woman: one of those gutless creatures who trade what’s “out there” for the less complicated “in here”! Devising an excuse, as an unhappy fox once did, to make the pain less .. well .. painful. “The grapes were sour anyway” or “It’s not like i haven’t seen it all”! When I tell you how even the thought of this year’s TimQet likely being my last TimQet in Ethiopia for years to come failed to outweigh my fear of a terrorist bomb, you’d understand just how strong my desire to remain in one piece is). Which is why the following videos are not of a circle of teenagers’ dancing to the sound of a harmonica playing. Or of our proud brothers from the West jumping above the “dulla” they carried, creating an “abwaara” like there is no tomorrow. Or even of a shy country-beauty being dragged into the middle by a “Dimmtse merewa” awraj she may or may not have had her eyes on. [“Lomi” costing 50 cents a piece, eyes seem to be the only thing men and women could afford to throw @ eachother nowadays.]
Nay! These may remind you of those. But are of a less exciting nature. They are religious videos: with tabot procession and a part secular/part religious group song I’ve heard in the past but am still unable to figure out the meaning of. I’m posting them here as an “ejj mensha” for my unnotified absence of five days [studying for my Prose & Style Exam on Thursday & Friday; having a weekend break on Saturday & Sunday; celebrating TimQet on Monday]. And in the hope they’d give you the “HaGer Bet” flavor I know you won’t be able to resist 😉 . Enjoy!