By Solomon Dibaba
In about a week, the peoples of Ethiopia will mark this year’s Nations, Nationalities and People Day. The day is marked against the backdrop of various achievements, events and challenges that the peoples of Ethiopia are working in unison.
Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day is marked in Ethiopia when the major parts of the world are grappling with multi-faced conflicts, various rounds of natural and manmade disasters. Even in the Horn of Africa, our neighbors are suffering from civil war and the heinous actions of terrorist organizations like ISIS.
Some mat think that marking the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day in Ethiopia is an occasion limited only to Ethiopia. Ethiopians comprise part of the international community and they have rendered a lot of historical, cultural and traditional values which would add up to the promotion of international civilization. Ethiopia has proved to be the origin of mankind and ancient civilization. Ethiopians have continued to live together in peace and peaceful coexistence for thousands of years. Religious tolerance in this country has already set a vivid example for those countries in the world that are suffering from religious conflicts.
The Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day to be celebrated soon is not a mere cultural show in which the peoples in the country come together to celebrate. In the USA for instance, a Thanksgiving Day has been observed with a lot of events. However, what the peoples of Ethiopia are celebrating surpasses such events.
Nations, Nationalities and Peoples celebrate their day which symbolizes their sovereignty, unity in diversity. The day also marks the implementation of the constitutional rights of all Ethiopians setting example for the rest of the world. Today, almost all the events that are being conducted in the country show that Ethiopia is in fact Africa in the miniature. As a country that has heralded the spirit of Pan Africanism for over 100 years, Ethiopia now stands for peace, development, peaceful coexistence, unity and mutual respect among African nations. This is a country that has continued to keep peace in Africa under the auspices of the AU and the UN. The representatives of the peoples of Ethiopia who would be gathered in Afar soon celebrate the occasion with further commitment to struggle against poverty destitution, lack of good governance and rent seeking trends that are and were observed in the country.
Peace and development in Ethiopia contributes to peace and development in the rest of Africa. On the other hand, Ethiopia cannot be fully peaceful and developmental when the rest of Africa is rid with conflicts in a number of countries. In this sense, the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day is also an occasion on which the peoples of Ethiopia express their commitments for peace and development in the rest of Africa.
Ethiopia’s economic development is in one way or another linked with its economic relations with the rest of Africa and even the world. Heralding and implementing the lofty goals of Agenda 2063, the nations is already pioneering in the development of power and infrastructural integration. All the more, Ethiopians are celebrating their day not only to just mark an annual festival but also to show their practical commitment to the creation of a democratic order in the country and the establishment of a single unified socio-economic and political entity in the constitutional context of a new federal order that many African countries have resolved to benchmark.
Celebrating Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia in Afar region is also crowned with the development achievements that the people in the state have registered. This is based on providing basic development for all nations, nationalities and peoples in the country. It is based on the constitutional rights that the peoples of Ethiopia had achieved more than two decades back.
The Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day have a message for the rest of the world. The day demonstrates a message that peace, development and cooperation cannot be achieved in the world unless the peoples of the planet realize that their very survival and development depends upon the maintenance of peace in the world. While the earth is still suffering from the effects of climate change, a number of leaders of the world are still taking time to get into swift action, as if another world is in store for mankind.
Ethiopians are again celebrating their day in due commitment to hosting the refugees from the neighboring countries that are feeling their own homeland to get peace in Ethiopia. This country is hosting more than 800,000 refugees from the neighboring countries because Ethiopia is also committed to peace and development in the rest of Africa. Hundreds of refugees are being offered educational opportunities in the institutes of higher learning and universities in the country simply because Ethiopia is concerned with the plights of refugees in Africa and elsewhere. All this based on the understanding that the principle of unity in diversity among peoples of Ethiopia also works for the rest of Africa.
The Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day is not marked under the context of a specific ideological overtone. It is based on respect, concern and mutual socio-economic development for the entire peoples of Ethiopia.
In terms of culture, the day enables the peoples of Ethiopia to enjoy the varies of cultural intangible heritages some of which were already registered by UNESCO. The day shows Ethiopia as a mosaic of cultures which have already won international recognition and admiration. It gives an occasion on which Ethiopians can learn from each other and share their experience in every aspect of their daily cultural life.
There quite a number of intangible cultural heritages that are found in Ethiopia and wait for international recognition at UNESCO. The Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day is a unique celebration that can effectively qualify to be registered at UNESCO as a global intangible human heritage. The occasion also set a very good opportunity for international researchers in anthropology and sociology. Besides, media centers in the country can replenish their archives so that they would be able to document the history of the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day right from the beginning as part of the documentation of the history of this country.
The youth in Ethiopia should naturally give due attention to this day as they are the ones that shoulder the responsibility of carrying over the event to the next generation. The youth is already encountering some level of cultural neo-colonialism by fully appreciating the cultural values of foreign countries that do not tally with the age old cultural values that have developed through ages in the country.
Further studies on expanding the content of the celebrations should be made with the view of putting in various aspects of the development of various spiritual and material culture of this country.
The Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day to be celebrated soon can also be a center of tourist attractions so that the rest of the world could see Ethiopia in just limited pavilions that could easily show Ethiopia in a nutshell.
Ethiopians shall continue to celebrate their day crowned with more achievements in the overall development of this country already in pace with fast socio-economic development.
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