Ethiopian Night’s food and dance performances celebrate culture and tradition

‘Uncovering our Roots’

Taehui Park
Staff Writer

The Ethiopian Student Association hosted a second Ethiopian Night on Saturday, April 7.

The event took place in the Ostrander Auditorium and the theme was “Uncovering Our Roots, Part 2”, following the first Ethiopian Night in 2016.

This reflected two essential prospects: to bond Ethiopian students together and to spread the rich culture of Ethiopia to non-Ethiopian students.

“This is the second Ethiopian Night at MNSU hosted by ESA,” said Rebecca Sergoalem, event coordinator of ESA. “We [wanted] to share our rich culture with many people. This event included authentic Ethiopian cuisine as well as a wide range of performances from different parts of Ethiopia.”

Ethiopia, located in northeast Africa on the Horn of Africa, is the most populated landlocked country in the world. According to culturecareconnection.org, Minnesota has the most diverse of the Ethiopian population with a large representation of Amhara and Oromo Ethiopians.

The night began with a traditional Ethiopian meal, which included rice, injera (sourdough-risen flatbread), doro wat (Ethiopian chicken stew), tibs (cooked meat dishes) and shiro (stew made with powdered chickpeas or broad bean meal), and the dinner lasted until 7 p.m.

“Ethiopia is a country which has a lot of fertile land and prosperous history,” said Sherifa Adem, first-year nursing major. “Needless to say, Ethiopian food is amazing. My favorite food is Doro Wat which is a chicken-based stew. It is made with boiled eggs, Ethiopian spices and stuffed full of dark chicken. I really want people to try this. I’m sure they will like it.”

Aside from the delectable cuisine, the night also highlighted the importance of the bond among Ethiopian students so as to develop a strong network as well as unity.

“ESA’s mission is to connect fellow Ethiopian students, provide guidance for its members, and educate the community about Ethiopia through a variety of cultural events and activities on campus. We made a lot of effort to make today’s event successful from food to entertainment. I hope everyone enjoy[ed] [the night],” said Natnael Dametaw, president of ESA.

As the event incorporated a vast array of performances as well as a series of informative presentations about Ethiopia, the 2018 Ethiopian Night was also educational for those who were not familiar with the Ethiopian culture.

“What I like the most about tonight’s performance was the folk dance (Ashenda). When the young women dance in a circle with two-beat drum rhymes, I was really mesmerized by their dancing. Along with that, their white cotton dresses decorated with colorful embroidery (tilfis) were so beautiful,” said HyeBin-Oh, second-year international relations major.

The 2018 Ethiopian Night helped bring about a sense of the rich culture of Ethiopia and enhance their strong bond among Ethiopian students and all of MNSU.

Photo: (Jeremiah Ayodele/MSU Reporter)

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