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Culture & Life Style

Ethiopia is truly a Land of discovery with more than 80 different ethnic groups each with its own language, culture, custom and tradition. it is a country of great antiquity, with a culture and traditions dating back more than 3,000 years.

Ethiopia, like many other African countries, is a multi-ethnic state. The differences may be observed in the number of languages spoken - an astonishing 83, falling into four main language groups: Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic and Nilo-Saharan. There are 200 different dialects.

Ethiopia also has a rich tradition of both secular and religious music, singing and dancing, and these together constitute an important part of Ethiopian cultural life.

Traditional food

Dining in Ethiopia is characterized by the ritual of breaking "injera" and sharing food from a common plate, signifying the bonds of loyalty and friendship. The traditional way of eating is with fingers. "Injera" is placed on the plate with variety of dishes decoratively arranged around it. A small portion of "Injera" is torn off and wrapped around a mouthful of the selected dish.
 

Traditional dress

Traditional dress, though often now supplanted by Western attire, may still be seen throughout much of the countryside. National dress is usually worn for festivals, when streets and meeting-places are transformed into a sea of white as finely woven cotton dresses, wraps decorated with colored woven borders, and suits are donned.

A distinctive style of dress is found among the Oromo horsemen of the central highlands, who, on ceremonial days such as Maskal, attire themselves in lions' manes or baboon-skin headdresses and, carrying hippo-hide spears and shields, ride down to the main city squares to participate in the parades.

 
Bull Jumping

Bull Jumpping

The jumping of the bulls is the most important ceremony of the Hamer people. Every youngster who wants to .... will wait for his father to decide when he will be allowed to jump. This three-day long initiation rite is normally held before or after the long rains. Tourists are only invited to have a look at the ceremony on the last afternoon but it is impressive enough: all the female relatives of the ukuli, the guy who is going to jump, are asking the maza, young boys who are already initiated, to be beaten with the sticks the warriors brought. Dancing and chanting in front of the warriors, they will not stop nagging, before they have been beaten several times. They will be scarred for life, but theses scarification are ...................

 

Religion

The main religions in Ethiopia are Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Paganism. Ethiopia is a predominantly Christian country and the majority of Christians are Orthodox Tewahedo Christians, who belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. There are a minority of Christians: Roman Catholic or Protestant.