International Series: Ethiopia

Brittany Fletcher | Designer/Intern

The International Series of Sinclair Talks continued in Building 8 last Wednesday featuring Ethiopia. Keynote speaker and Sinclair Sociology Instructor Amaha Sellassie provided information on Ethiopia from its culture to its history, as well as the people of Ethiopia. From their customs to their way of life, Sellassie also touched on Ethiopian values.

Towards the end of the discussion, Selassie stressed the importance of love and hospitality in Ethiopian culture. Sellassie, who had traveled to Ethiopia, regarded the Ethiopian people as both welcoming and friendly to interact with. Ethiopians also have a great sense of community and respect for one another—sharing a “we,” opposed to an “I,” mentality, according to Sellassie.

Ethiopians observe certain customs such as never eating a meal alone. Sellassie explained that Ethiopians tend to believe eating with others strengthens bonds within their community. Ethiopians also stand if they are sitting when an elder enters the room as a sign of respect.

“The values within the Ethiopian culture could benefit everyone in general by having respect for our elders and youths while having a sense of hospitality and respect for each others differences,” Sellassie said. “These Ethiopian values could help improve the world.”

ILRI/Steve Mann | Wikimedia

ILRI/Steve Mann | Wikimedia

Elaine Abraham, a former resident of Ethiopia who now works Dayton Job Corps Center, detailed her experiences growing up in Ethiopia. Abraham said the rich history of the Ethiopian people traces back to biblical times, particularly during the reign of King Solomon and Queen Sheba. Ethiopia, according to Abraham, is perhaps unknown for its role in the development of coffee.

Abraham went to school in Ethiopia, and remarks how difficult the classes were. Abraham described the social clubs where Ethiopians gather to enjoy coffee and talk to people about what’s going on in their everyday lives while being entertained with music and arts.

Both Sellassie and Abraham believe Ethiopian people and culture have a lot to contribute—not just those contributions to the pumpkin spice lattes from the campus Starbucks.

The next International Series will take place on October 19 from 12:00p.m. to 1:00p.m. featuring Brazil at the Building 8 stage area.

Leonard Mcafee, Jr.