8, 2008 - Ethiopian Culture: from food to dance [Video]
night we were treated to an amazing cultural show at a traditional
Ethiopian restaurant in downtown Addis. I've been to Ethiopian
restaurants in Europe, but this was a truly exceptional
experience where we tasted various Ethiopian dishes and
watched live traditional song and dance from the various
tribes across the country.
main staple of the Ethiopian diet is a flat, sourdough bread,
similar to a pancake, called Ingera. This bread can go with
pretty much anything and is very high in carbohydrates and
iron. We had a smorgesborg of food that was presented on
top of a giant piece of Ingera - each food choice (raw or
cooked beef, sauteed spinach, cooked beans, mixed vegetables,
and hot sauces) was placed in piles and you use pieces of
Ingera to pick up the food with your hands and eat it.
having her hands washed.
the dinner one of the wait staff brings a kettle of water
with soap and a bowl for everyone to wash their hands -
since you are all eating off the same dish of food without
any utensiles this is quite a crucial part of dinner!
dinner we had live stage entertainment that included different
tribal dances to represent the hundreds of tribes that exist
in Ethiopia, all with their individual languages. Most of
the top athletes come from the Oromia tribe and all speak
together in the Oromo language, in addition to the national
language of Amharic.
and I's attempt at tribal dancing.
the song and dance show on stage, the dancers went around
to different tables to see if the crowd to match their impressive
dance. You can see how we did here. We all had a go, but
definitely couldn't match their well-practiced dance. In
fact, Defar told me that the same people dance every night
for about four hours and she expected they made about 500
bir, equivalent to $50 in a month. That means these dancers,
who are athletes themselves, make less than the average
club runner in Ethiopia.