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Ethiopia vol.2

Contrary to the discoveries, there were the things just as I had expected. It's "features" for instance. Collecting people's faces is my life work. As a cross section or transition of people's figures, Ethiopia is very interesting to me as much as the one in Kashgar in Xinjang Region, China where I had ever visited.

The biggest group is the The Oromo people who's from south, Kenya. Then it's followed by The Amharas and The Tigrayans from north, The Somali from east, Somalia. There are smaller groups in the south plain like The Mursi. Ethiopia is consisted of some eighty groups. In other words, all those people are mixed together and become the features of Ethiopian. The face has slightly different characters from Egyptian or Yemenis. Maybe they are mixed together little by little. From the ancient Indian Ocean trade, I guessed it would include some Indian essence. Although it's not obvious.
In the meantime, with the close watch the fact which people belong to which job or role in the society, I can see the real story of Ethiopian society from the different angle of view.

One more thing which I had been really looking forward to was Ethiopian official language, Amharic. To me, Amharic character is a one of the coolest in the world. Although it's hard to describe how it looks like, it forms like "Chromosome".
አዲስአበባ ኢንጀራ
Can you say which one is chromosome and which is Amharic? The answer is the former one is a chromosome and Amharic character for the latter ... Sorry. I'm joking. Both of them are Amharic. "Addis Ababa" for the first and "injera" for the second in Amharic.

As you've seen Amharic has quite strange shape. However the grammar is familiar to me, Japanese. It's because Amharic isn't phonemic character like alphabet but a syllabic character like Japanese. Vowel or Vowel + Consonant makes one character. A word order and an omission of subject also similar to Japanese grammar. Once learn words and characters, it must be easy for Japanese to study Amharic.
Actually I often got sales of book sellers on the street. The strongest pushing title for me was Amharic language text book. But I rejected their offer saying "It will be heavy for my backpack. So later, on the last day of my stay" Of course they never gave up with it, discounted 20, 30%, then finally 80%. But I said "No".
Eventually, I was busy on the last day no time for buying the book at all. I should have buy it when I got the offer.

Oh, I was almost skipping another famous product of Ethiopia. It's a coffee. Local people suggested me "Forget about the cafe's one. It should be all home made for washing and roasting coffee beans ... every thing. That's a real Ethiopian coffee" But for me, all the coffee I got in Ethiopia are tasty without exception.
I took a menu on the table at cafe. I could understand the Amharic word "Bunna". It's a coffee. The I asked waitress about "ማክያቶ" listed below the bunna. She said "Macchiato?" Suddenly the familiar word came out from the chaos of Amharic. I knew later it didn't mean The Starbucks made the word popular in Ethiopia. Some Italian words have been widely used in this country since Italian invasion to Ethiopia.

In facts, I often invited to the coffee ceremony during my stay. However I could not open up my mind because of my trauma of "Shanghai tee party incident" It's a good example one travel experience effects to the other.

Oct. 2012

Today's piece
" Washing coffee beans " Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2012

fumikatz osada photographie