Thursday, September 13, 2012

Welcome to 2005

The Ethiopian calender is different from the Western one.  For starters, there are 13 months. Each month has 30 days, with the remainder of the days of the year residing in a month at the end of the year. It's called Paugme. 

This often means that while I think it's September 1st, it's actually August 28th.  September 11th, aka September 1st in Ethiopia, is the Ethiopian New Year.  It is now 2005 in Ethiopia. I heard the year difference is because of difference in thought over when Jesus died, but I'm not positive. All I know is that Ethiopia, and some other African country, are eight years off from the rest of the world.

Habasha New Years is not celebrated quite as loudly as the Western January 1st variety. There's no staying up late and waiting for midnight, there's nothing special about New Years Eve here.

Everything happens on the 1st.  And by everything I mainly mean eating.

Most Ethiopian dishes here are a variety of wot, a sauce different types of food are cooked in. For holidays, the wot to eat is doro wot. It's not like the States where some families might have ham and the others roast beef for Christmas, every family has doro wot here.

Doro is the Amharic word for chicken, and doro wot included freshly killed chicken and hard boiled eggs. It's customary that every guest gets at least one egg and one piece of meat. There are no forks and knifes here, you have to break up the egg with a piece of bread and eat the chicken by peeling pieces off the bone with your fingers. It's a rather messy affair, but tasty.

It's customary in the morning for children to visit their parents for a meal, and the parents will return the favor in the evening for dinner.

I spent the day with my host family, and had two meals. First at my host mom's mom's, and then later at her place. I then returned to Huruta (my host mom sent me out the door with a bag of oranges and bus money. Food and cash, I felt like I was leaving my yiayia and papou's place.) and had two more meals. One with a counterpart and one with my landlords.

I feasted four times in 7 hours, I was rather surprised I didn't explode. As it was, I slept rather well that night.


Liwi said...

Well at least we know you won't starve! :D The calendar thing is really interesting...

Matt said...

Ahhh another different calendar? In Nepal it's 2069! I found out my birthday is on the first day of the last month on the Nepali calendar. I guess it's the windiest month so those born in that month are known as natural nomads coming and going as often as the blowing winds... :)

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