What Africans Commonly Overlook about #Ethiopia 👇🏾

Contrary to popular perception, there is not
one ‘Ethiopian’ Language, Culture, Religion or

#Ethiopia is home to a multiplicity of peoples & cultures with plurality of languages, religions, worldviews & histories.
Amharic is one of the 80+ native languages we have. It became dominant in the 20th century as it was the language of Ethiopian empire & was unilaterally imposed in the conquered territories until 1991. It continues to be the federal working language, an issue heavily contested.
#Ethiopia is home to over 80 Indigenous groups with rich worldviews, histories & philosophies. Amhara culture emerged in the 20th century as the most dominant as it was adapted by Abyssinian rulers as state identity & imposed on all peoples through a policy of Amharization.
There is no one standard of beauty among Ethiopia’s people, although certain features, cultural attires, music, & images have emerged as dominant through their promotion by z state & historically privileged individuals & groups—who tend to favor light skin & Eurocentric features.
For example, among the Oromo, darker skinned women (called magala) are traditionally favored and viewed as the standard of beauty. This is in direct contradiction to dominant ideas about beauty in urban Ethiopia that favor eurocentric features. There are many more examples.
#Ethiopia is commonly perceived as an Orthodox Christian country as it was the state religion until 1974. Islam has been around almost as long as Christianity in this part of the world. Today muslims make up about half of the Ethiopian population of 110 million people.
#Ethiopia is also home to many denominations of Christianity as well as some of the oldest Indigenous spiritual traditions such as Waqqeefana, albeit these have been marginalized by the state in favor of Abrahamic traditions.
#Ethiopia’s peoples have a plurality of historical narratives, collective memories, origin stories, & national heroes. No, we do not all think Haile Selassie is a great Ethiopian leader — in fact, large groups of people associate him with dispossession, violence, and oppression.
The popular narrative that “Ethiopia was never colonized” is accepted without question or inspection by most Africans—but for many communities, state creation was an experience of colonization & anti-colonial struggles in Ethiopia have always been part of our political landscape.
Also, please see this thread by @Afrowomanist that goes into detail about how colorism & racial hierarchy are endemic to Ethiopianness 👇🏾
Here’s the full version of this kindly posted 👇🏾

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More from @ThaAyantu

2 Sep
Talk to any people in colonial situations, they’ll tell you they’ve no shortage of collaborators, opportunists, wanna be colonialists etc. It’s a feature of colonial systems that’s universal—that’s what we have with the leadership in power in #Ethiopia in the name of Oromos.
This class of people have been key to imposing & managing the Ethiopian empire on conquered peoples land from its inception. They are there to facilitate plunder, murder & control over previously sovereign peoples. Those in power today are part of a very long tradition. #Ethiopia
Each conquered nation in #Ethiopia has its class of colonial administrators & these roles are passed from one generation to the next, the same way freedom movements are. These two groups must be seen in parallel to understand the dynamics of liberation struggles in #Ethiopia.
Read 8 tweets
3 Aug
We rely on journalists to bring us clear, informative & contextualized coverage, esp in volatile situations such as facing 🇪🇹 rn. Sadly, much of the reporting we’ve seen from western journos in the last 5 weeks contributes to confusion & partisanship instead of shedding light.
Harmful practices:
- Treat some communities as victims & others as perpetrators.
- Ignore/Minimize role of government in chaos.
- No curiosity about motivations & dynamics of local violence.
- Settling for dangerously simplistic portrayals.
- Lack of proportionality all around.
More harmful practices:
- Humanizing one group while dehumanizing another to the extent that attacks against the latter are minimized/ignored.
- Failure to hold government authorities accountable for state violence & their failure to protect communities from attacks.
Read 12 tweets

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