Ethiopia is one of the largest states in Africa. The word "Ethiopian" itself is literally translated from Greek as "a man with a tanned face."
And the term "Ethiopia" is found in the inscriptions of the 4th century. The local highlands have been inhabited by people since ancient times, it became one of the first centers of agriculture. The first state on the plateau appeared in the 5th century BC, when people from Arabia brought here writing, the Semitic language, and the technique of masonry. At the beginning of our era, the early feudal kingdom of Aksum appeared here, whose port of Adulis became an important trading center for trade between Egypt and India. And from the IV century, Christianity began to spread in the country.
Ethiopia is today a federal republic. Agriculture is at the heart of its economy. It employs 85% of working people. Tourism in Ethiopia is just beginning to develop actively. The country attracts with its rich history, wild nature, distinctive tribes. But people are afraid to go to Ethiopia, perceiving the country through the prism of some myths.
Ethiopia is the poorest country. The topic of poverty is relevant for Ethiopia. In terms of per capita income, the country is one of the poorest in the world, with an average salary of about $ 80 per month. For civilized countries, this amount seems scanty. In local currency, birr, this is about 1,500 units. But they are quite enough for the purchase of essential goods every month. The same coffee, depending on the location in Ethiopia, can cost 3 dollars, pounds or birr. For most, this drink is considered affordable. The poorer the area, the easier it is to live there, even on a small income. The food is inexpensive. Inequality manifests itself in luxury goods or imported manufactured goods. For example, an ordinary Chinese household iron costs 750 birr, which casts doubt on the availability of most ironed shirts. The country is rich in history and personal relationships, not financial ones. Ethiopia also boasts of its nature, culture, and religious sites. It is home to 80 unique ethnic groups, 84 indigenous languages and 200 dialects. The flora and fauna are famous for their endemicity. All this wealth is located in an area just two Texas. And if you wish, you can find luxury in the country, especially in the capital. An example is the Radisson Hotel in Addis Ababa, opened in 2012. Then the summit of the presidents of the African Union took place here.
It's dangerous in Ethiopia. When in any unfamiliar country, you should exercise the utmost care. The US and UK consulates warn that in Ethiopia it is better to stay away from the Eritrea border zone. Borders with Somalia, Kenya and Sudan are also dangerous. Periodically, there are reports of the death or abduction of tourists from Europe. But in the slums of foreign megacities, the danger is no less than in this country. The Ethiopians themselves are polite, generous, calm, with a tradition of gratitude and love. It surprises tourists that locals tend to protect their guests. The tourist will definitely be helped, prompted the right way. Foreigners are a small miracle for Ethiopians, despite all the ethnic diversity of the country. That is why tourists are treated more with curiosity than as an object of crime. Compared to other African countries, it is calm here. They say that you can even walk at night. This is due to traditional Christian morality.
Ethiopia is dry and desolate. The percentage of water surface in the country is even slightly higher than in Egypt. And in the north-west of the country is Lake Tana with an area of 3600 sq. Km. Despite constant reports of hunger and disease, the majority of the population lives on a green and fertile plateau. The climate is mild and humid, there is enough rainfall. A dry and hot climate is characteristic of the eastern regions of the country.
All Ethiopians are skinny and run fast. The athletic success of Ethiopian runners has formed a stereotype about the appearance of the locals. But not all of them are capable of a long run. But the equatorial hot mountainous terrain requires a lot of lung volume. In combination with sports, this gives a result. Ethiopians are also very beautiful. They have wonderful lush hair due to excellent genetics.
Ethiopia has not enriched the world in anything. There are at least three main gifts of the country of our civilization. Ethiopian cuisine is popular around the world. It is based on a variety of stews served on an injera flatbread. Several dishes are usually laid out on a common table so that each of them can be tasted with the help of a flour product. Engera is both the main food and the plate. A gala dinner of omelette, grilled meat, baked minced meat and wine and Coca-Cola will cost about $ 5. Ethiopian food is considered inexpensive but delicious. Ethiopia is also the spiritual home of the Rastafari movement. Its adherents consider the last emperor of the country, Haile Selassie I, to be the incarnation of God. Before his coronation, his name was Ras Tafari Makonnen. Ethiopia's tricolor became the Rastafari flag. Also, the country is one of the leading suppliers of coffee beans. This is what Ethiopia's main export destination is.
Ethiopia is fortunate that the country has always been independent. The country is proud that it has never been someone's colony. National pride hides a strong self-identification - for 200 years all foreigners who “hindered” progress were removed from here. Even without being a supporter of colonialism, you can see what England gave to America and India. But Ethiopia, with its 14 large rivers and the greatest water resources, has not acquired an irrigation system. Even basic infrastructure such as railways and a paved road network to supply the regions with food and goods was not created. A thousand years ago in Ethiopia, people lived in thatched-roof huts smeared with mud. But today, little has changed. Farmers live in villages without running water or electricity. It is no coincidence that infectious diseases caused by unsanitary conditions and malnutrition are the main public health problem in Ethiopia. Life expectancy in the country is only 55 years, people are dying from diseases that are being successfully fought in the West. Perhaps, for a qualitative breakthrough in the development of Ethiopia, the status of someone's colony was not enough for several decades.
Developed countries can rectify the situation in Ethiopia. Why is Ethiopia still one of the poorest countries in the world? Every year she receives billions of dollars in foreign aid, charities send here free things and food. Hundreds of volunteers donate their time and expertise in health and economic development. However, this approach is somewhat flawed - it creates a cyclical culture of dependence. The situation is similar to when a poor man is given a fish, and not a fishing rod and the ability to use it. Even celebrities are raising money, but where is the end point of this donor aid? She maintains the way of life that has developed over decades, without helping progress.
Ethiopia is a dirty and smelly country. Tourists are surprised that in Ethiopia no one smells of sweaty or dirty bodies. Local residents may be dusty, with unwashed hair, but not have an unpleasant smell. And the country is clean. People sweep in front of their hut every morning, and at the first opportunity they bathe and wash in the river.
Ethiopia is the land of the Queen of Sheba. The Bible says how the Queen of Sheba (the ruler of the country of Saba, Sheba) came to the king of Israel Solomon to taste his wisdom and test him with riddles. Commentators believe that the story should be interpreted in such a way that the mysterious ruler arrived in Israel in order to conceive a child from a great ruler. Ethiopian legends say that their rulers are descendants of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Who this woman was remains a mystery. Historians believe that the queen came from Egyptian civilization. It is believed that the ancient Egyptian name Hatshepsut is translated as "Queen of Sheba". This female pharaoh lived in 1508-1458 BC. making your country prosperous. Jesus Christ considered her the queen of the South. But where exactly this kingdom was located - one can only guess. In any case, the story is rather vague to be believed. And isn't it humiliating for a queen of a sovereign country to travel a thousand miles just to conceive a child?
The last representative of the Solomon dynasty was Emperor Haile Selassie I. Before the coronation of this man, his name was Ras Tafari Makonnen. But his father was Ras Makonnen, who was born as a peasant near Gar Mulet and became a military man, the head of the province. When Ras Tafari became emperor, he regained his baptismal name - Haile Selassie (Power of the Holy Trinity). Other emperors of the "dynasty of Solomon" had similar fake biographies. References to their relationship with the famous kings of antiquity only added authority to the rulers.
There is a civilization on the territory of Ethiopia that is already 3 thousand years old. The cradle of civilization is the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates, but if you think more broadly - the Fertile Crescent with the Nile delta. According to archaeologists, the world civilization should be taken from 10-4 thousand years BC. So the claims of the Abyssinians fit into this time interval. However, the Habesh peoples who live in Ethiopia today do not have such a long history. In 1888, the colonialists of Emperor Menelik destroyed the free peoples in the south, integrating their remnants into the old Abyssinian empire. Its history goes back several hundred years. Civilization cannot die in a few days. There are no archaeological traces linking the Semitic-speaking Habesh with traces of the ancient civilizations of Ethiopia. But locals want to believe in their unique history and roots.
The Habesh tribes live according to their own unique calendar. There was no invention. Locals used the Julian calendar before, and continue to do so. It appeared as a result of the reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. This chronology system came to Ethiopia along with the Coptic Orthodox Church. And when the whole world switched to the Gregorian calendar, the Habesh monks remained true to traditions. Now in Ethiopia they boast of their unique chronology, not even suspecting that the calendar is not theirs at all, but foreign.
Ethiopia has nothing to do with colonization. It has already been said that no one really colonized the country. But there is one interesting nuance - the Abyssinians are the only black people who colonized their fellow continents. Naturally, the Europeans helped in this. The Abyssinians were the only ones who represented Africa at the famous conference in Berlin, where the great European countries decided to fight for colonies on the Black Continent. Emperor Menelik represented Abyssinia as a Christian brother. The Europeans helped him with weapons, which were used to conquer other free peoples. So Menelik defeated the free southerners, making their remnants his subjects. The emperor became the largest slave trader, selling the free people of his colonies. Proud Abyssinians don't like to talk about this dark side of their story. Ethiopians present themselves as truly free people, forgetting that they themselves destroyed other peoples and plunged them into slavery.
Ethiopia is the only African country to come up with its own alphabet. And this myth was invented by local elites to emphasize their importance to their neighbors. The Habesh people use the Ge'ez alphabet (Ethiopian script). But it was not invented here, but simply borrowed from the ancient Arabians. The Geez alphabet is based on the Proto-Sinai letter with its own alphabet. It was common in Sinai, Middle Egypt, and Canaan. Many letter names in Ethiopian script are related to Canaanite, clearly having a more ancient basis.
Temples are free to visit in Ethiopia. In this country, the church officially decreed that tourists have to pay to enter the temple. The ticket costs $ 5 and will be kindly sold by the priest at the entrance. New city temples are spared this, but in any ancient churches you will have to pay. The main shrine of the country, the city of Lalibela, consists of three groups of temples. Admission here officially costs $ 55, and a group of three or more is also entitled to a paid guide.
Ethiopia is a Christian country. Ethiopia is truly the continent's only traditional Christian country. But on the periphery, the positions of Islam are strong. In addition, Lutheranism is rapidly developing here. All in all, there are about 60% of Christians in the country, and 33% of Muslims.
The Ark of the Covenant is kept in Ethiopia. This shrine is considered the main one in the country. There are legends that at one time the Ark was taken out of Jerusalem, transported along the Nile to the island of Tana-Kirkos, where it was hidden for 800 years. And now the rarity is kept in Aksum, in the cathedral in a special chapel. But you cannot see the Ark, the Gentiles are forbidden even to approach the building. In general, only a special priest can enter it. Before he dies, he names his successor. But no one saw the Ark of the Covenant in the eyes. Yes, there are many other legends that call a different location of this shrine.
Worship in Ethiopia is similar to ours. Services here last for 8-10 hours. At the same time, music is playing, drums are beating, many are dancing, and some are sleeping. There is even a special prayer stick that you can lean on and take a nap. There is no particular reverence for the objects of service - they can roll in the mud in the church. The altar of Christian churches is designed in the likeness of the Holy of Holies of Jerusalem - only priests can enter there. The service is held in the ancient language Ge'ez, which only monks understand. And worship of relics is not practiced here. Ethiopians do not cross themselves, but they worship icons and sacred books, kissing them with their heads. Believers venerate the cross, study the lives of the saints.