Ethiopia Informational Slideshow

All you need to know to prep for an adoption in Ethiopia.

Bryan Bennion October 05, 2016

Are you interested in adopting from Ethiopia? Well then this slideshow is for you. Read on to learn all about Ethiopian culture, history, holidays, and more. This will help give you an introduction to your future child’s heritage and culture.

1. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is located in the horn of Africa in the Eastern region of the continent. At nearly 100 million occupants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world. As one of the oldest countries in the world, Ethiopia has developed an economy rich trade and agriculture.

Due to its overuse of the diminishing coal and firewood resources, the country is currently looking more into hydroelectric and other forms of renewable energy.

Ethiopia Government
2. Ethiopia Government

Since 1995, the current government of Ethiopia has been ruled by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The Ethiopian government is run like a republic, but has received much criticism in recent years on how it runs its election process, keeping a tight grip on media and the press, and on the subject of human rights.

Ethiopia Languages and Religions
3. Ethiopia Languages and Religions

With the most popularly spoken languages being Amharic and Oromo, the country is incredibly diverse in language with over 100 different tongues due to how most of the population lives in smaller rural communities throughout. Christianity was introduced into Ethiopia around the 4th century and is not only the predominant religion, but is one of the oldest organized Christian bodies in the world. Other religions here consist of mostly Islam, Judaism, and animalism.

Ethiopia’s Landscape
4. Ethiopia’s Landscape

Ethiopia's landscape is entirely located in the tropical latitudes and so experiences like conditions. It is made up of grasslands, forests, and deserts. It is rich in wildlife that has recently been reduced due to deforestation, poaching, and changes in the global climate. To protect the remaining forests and wildlife, the government has dedicated 20 national parks, reserves, and sanctuaries.

Ethiopian History
5. Ethiopian History

Ethiopia is traditionally considered the site of where the earliest known modern humans originated. Much of its known history starts with the kingdom of D’mt around the 7th century BCE. As it deteriorated around 300 BCE along with its trade routes, the demand for ivory and slaves still kept the region active.

Much of the region remained governed by local societies, some of which grew to control the land and the trade routes by the Red Sea, Aksum was one of these powers. Between the 4th and 6th century, Aksum was the dominant power of trade in this region of Africa. It was also about this time Christianity was introduced to and widely accepted by much of the population.

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Ethiopian History
6. Ethiopian History

As Christianity grew in the region, so did Islam and other oppositions. Starting from the 9th century and throughout the Middle Ages, Christian and Islamic faiths collided and struggled for control over the Ethiopian region. The conflict lasted until the early 1600s when the Christian commands drove out the Islamic military.

Cultural activity was able to grow during this time, as well as trade and agriculture. This period ushered in a great leader by the name of Empress Mentewab whose reign was short due to economic collapse. Anarchy took over until local kingdoms began to form again about a century later.

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Ethiopian History
7. Ethiopian History

As the kingdoms grew, so did foreign influence in the 1800s. Self proclaimed rulers and emperors conflicted with each other over the region while foreign nations, particularly Britain and Italy, struggled for control. After Sahle Miriam declared himself emperor, he signed a treaty granting Italian rule over a portion of the country called Eritrea, and to be a medium for foreign relations for Ethiopia. However, Italy mistranslated and believed to have control over all of Ethiopia. What started as a diplomatic solution turned into a small conflict.

After the Battle of Adwa, between the Italian troops and the emperor’s army, Sahle signed the Treaty of Addis Ababa, which specified the borders, zones, and assets of Ethiopia. The emperor attempted to be take back Eritrea as part of the main country, but was unsuccessful; both are still separate nations.

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Ethiopian History
9. Ethiopian History

By the 1930s, Ethiopia had just entered the United Nations and the economy was booming with coffee as its main export along with other agricultural products. After Zauditu died, Tafari declared himself emperor and was crowned Haile Selassie l in 1931. Shortly after Italy again power grabbed for control of the nation, Ethiopia was joined with Eritrea for a few years until the United Nations, along with the United States, intervened to sort out the conflicts of interest.

For the next couple decades, Ethiopia struggled with internal conflicts as the residents adjusted to the new changes and leaders working overtime to control uprisings. As anarchy once again became the popular rule of law, a group led by Meles Zenawi, the EPRDF chairman at the time, attempted to democratize Ethiopia in the early 90s. This proposition didn’t sit well with other Ethiopian leaders.

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Ethiopian History
10. Ethiopian History

The transition into a full-fledged democracy spanned a few years until a constitution could be written in 1995. For the next decade the country would deal with tensions internally and externally, struggling to keep the balance.

Today the economy of the country is seeing considerable growth while its human rights record continues to worsen, especially after harsh anti-terrorism laws were passed in the 2010s. Ethiopian leaders see the strict laws as necessary actions to maintain a stable economy.

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Ethiopian Flag
11. Ethiopian Flag

The Ethiopian flag has undergone a few changes since the early 1900s, from plain colored strips to the addition of socialist and Marxist symbols. Today the flag is recognized with green, yellow, and red stripes and a yellow outlined rayed star in a blue disc.

The green represents the fertile country, red is for the sacrifice for freedom, yellow for hope and justice, and the star on the blue disk represents unity and peace for all Ethiopian nationalities.

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Map of Ethiopia
12. Map of Ethiopia

Ethiopia is made up of nine regional states and two chartered cities. These are divided up into zones, districts, and neighborhoods. There are representatives from each region, zone, district and neighborhood.

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Ethiopian Events & Holidays
13. Ethiopian Events & Holidays

Ethiopians celebrate most international holidays, but there are a few the residents enjoy exclusively from the rest of the world. Their events and holidays are often fueled by religion and historical events, and are filled with music, colorful dress, and food.

Ethiopian Christmas
14. Ethiopian Christmas

While the rest of the world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec 25th, Christians of the Orthodox Church in Ethiopia recognize Jan. 7th as this day. Because more than half the population is part of the Orthodox Church, this and other Christian holidays are celebrated on separate days from much of the world.

15. Timkat

Also celebrated in January, this day marks Christ’s baptism and is often the most colorful event of the year. It is celebrated Jan. 19th (or 20th on Leap Year).

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Victory at Adwa Day
16. Victory at Adwa Day

This day particularly commemorates the victory over Italy in 1896. It is used as more of a nationally recognized holiday than an event. This is celebrated March 2nd.

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Ramadan and ’Id Al Fatr
17. Ramadan and ’Id Al Fatr

Since the next largest religious group in Ethiopia is Islam, Muslims in Ethiopia celebrate Ramadan and other holidays within the religion with the rest of the world. At the end of Ramadan, marked by fasting, a great feast takes place to celebrate the end of Ramadan. This event is on par with Christmas for many Ethiopians.

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Ethiopian New Year and Meskal
18. Ethiopian New Year and Meskal

The Ethiopian New Year is celebrated on September 11th as the rainy season comes to an end and spring begins. Shortly after within the same month, Ethiopians celebrate the finding of the True Cross, a small physical cross by which the Catholic Church traditionally believes came from the cross of Jesus Christ.

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Bryan Bennion

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