“A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out.”
― Tony Blair
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I had a great dialogue with a friend of mine about this obsession of the meaning of being an Ethiopian, which seems to sprawl its roots in me. We consciously attempted to flip every historical footprint that is ever declared on behalf of our birthplace.
We gazed at the chronicles; from the tribe of Kush to Queen Sheba, from the Axumites to the era of the Kings, from the fables to the controversial declaration of what being an Ethiopian mean for a native of the land.
Our upbringing was filled with the mystical and heroic stories of Ethiopia and Ethiopians that the feeling of greatness hovers above our head like a piece of blessed cloud. It is almost impossible to assert one’s Ethiopian identity outside this prideful curtain that is most deeply rooted in the historic “past”.
But then reality hits; why in the world, how in the world, these glamorous and prideful existence led many, Ethiopians, go astray like flock of sheep without a shepherd. Tony Blair once quoted “A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out.” As we Ethiopians jokingly say, almost every person would like to leave the land – if given a chance. Our self dismantling way of life is not a sign of a great nation and its people!
So, I wonder, and then what does being an Ethiopian really mean? If the historical account is put aside, if the arrogant curtain of “...I’m better than you, we are better than everybody, we are greater than everybody ...” bluff rolled up, what is the real meaning of being an Ethiopia to each native?
I’m still digging!
Pazion - 2011