Being Ethiopian is not based on an accent or a dialect but on the essence of what one stands for.
by Teddy Fikre. Posted, Saturday, June 26, 2010
What does it mean to be Ethiopian? Is it the way one speaks perfect Amharic? Is it the way one looks? Or more importantly, is it on what one does for his or her community. This topic comes up a lot in various corners throughout our community. As an Ethiopian who grew up for 28 years of my life in America, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. For the vast majority of my life, I was disconnected from my own community. I grew up in Woodbridge Virginia, a place that had as many Ethiopians at the time as Fairbanks Alaska.
It was not until 2008, during the Obama campaign, that I started to reconnect to my own community. Of course, I could not blame my community for straying from me for it was I that strayed from them. I tried hard for the majority of my life to be Americanized, to lose my accent and to chase the American dream. I always knew I was Ethiopian, but in the process of being Americanized, I lost my own Ethiopiwinet. When I plunged back into the Ethiopian community driven by a passion to get Obama elected, I realized how much of my voice was missing from being away from my community for such a long time.
It was during this process that I realized what kept me away from my community. I always knew that I walked an invisible line between being Ethiopian and being American. For a long time, I tried to straddle the line by being both concurrently. As time elapsed, and as I spoke more English at the cost of speaking Amharic, I started to feel disconnected from my Ethiopian side. I tried to speak Amharic with Ethiopians that I would meet and somehow I felt intimidated by my lack of awareness of my own language. I felt like a visitor with my own people, no longer able to…
…to read the rest of this article, go to: http://browncondor.com/events/2010/06/26/ethiopian-enough/ or click on the picture below
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