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Fun Facts about Ethiopia

Ethiopian-flagHave an itching desire to visit Ethiopia? Want to know more about the country? Planning on attending Young Professional’s Taste of Ethiopia on Wednesday? Well here are some fun facts about Ethiopia to get you ready and prepared!

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a small country located in the Horn of Africa. It is only about double the size of Texas with a population of 84,734,262 and is the second most populous nation in Africa and one of the oldest independent ones in the region. The capital is Addis Ababa, which is also the largest city in the country, and the location of parliament and official buildings. Throughout the past decade, their former prime minister Meles Zenawi has strengthened relations with the US, making Ethiopia one of America’s closest African allies.

_54199226_ethiopiaPeople in Ethiopia generally speak Amharic, which is a Semitic language like Arabic and is considered a sacred language to Rastafarians. The word Rastafarian actually comes from the name of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (Ras Tafari) who visited Jamaica in 1966 and was generally considered a messianic figure who would bring peace and prosperity in a golden age.

For those of us who love our cup ‘o joe in the morning, we are indebted to Ethiopia as an original birthplace of coffee. Ethiopia is the world’s seventh largest producer of coffee today, and Africa’s top producer. In Ethiopia, as in Arab and Eritrean cultures, there is even a ritualized and ceremonious way of making and drinking coffee.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATraditional Ethiopian homes are called Tukul; round huts with dirt floors and walls built with mud and/or sticks and roofs are made out of a kind of long grass called teff. In modern times, it is fashionable to wallpaper the walls with magazines or newspapers.

In the past two years, Ethiopia has been one of the fastest growing non-oil economies in Africa and has become recognized for its geothermal energy potential. In January, the Bank of Ethiopia announced that it will offer $20 million to expedite the private sector’s energy projects, funded by the World Bank.

Additional fun facts:

– There are 13 months in the Ethiopian calendar

– Traditionally, parents and children do not share a last name. Most children take their father’s first name as their last name

– Ethiopia has 63 airports. Only 17 of them have a paved runway

– Ethiopian television has only one channel

– Ethiopia is the only African country with its own alphabet

– Time in Ethiopia is counted on the opposite side of the clock (6:00 is at our 12:00)

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Are you now fascinated by Ethiopian culture? Learn more while enjoying an Ethiopian feast this Wednesday, February 20! Join Young Professionals for Taste of Ethiopia! RSVP now here: http://yptoe.eventbrite.com

Written By: Noor Hakeem and Ziyu Zhan [YPers]