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Cultural Ethiopia

Ethiopian Culture

Cultural Diversity with binding trends

Ethiopia is a multicultural country with over 80 different languages and dialects. 83 different ethnic groups live in Ethiopia. All these differ in culture, traditions, clothing style, jewelry and hairstyle. Yet all of them have one thing in common: they are friendly and welcoming to strangers.

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Traditional ethiopian food

Ingera ethiopian foodIn Ethiopia it is a sign of friendship to eat together off one large circular plate. You eat with your right hand, and should always wash your hands before eating. Visitors and guests will have choice morsels and pieces of meat placed in front of them, which should be eaten last, unless you want more pieces placed in front of you.

Ingera - The main dish

Ingera is a soft, sour dough pancake made from a grain known as teff. Similar to bread, it is eaten to everything and used to pick up pieces of meat or to mop up the sauce.
Teff, belonging to the lovegrass species (Eragrostis), has very fine seeds, which contain symbiotic yeast and three times the iron of wheat. The ingera batter is allowed to sit for three days so the yeast can become active, before it is cooked in a large flat oven.

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Ethnic Groups in Ethiopia

Borena - Woman3

People of Ethiopia

All the languages spoken in Ethiopia fall into four main language groups: Semitic, Cushitic, Omotic and Nilo-Saharan.

Semitic languages are related to both Hebrew and Arabic, and derive from Ge'ez, the ecclesiastical language. Amharic, the most important of these is also the official language of the state. Most Semitic languages speakers, to them belong the Amhara, Tigray, Oromo, Guraginya and Adarinya, live in the highlands in the center and the north of Ethiopia. The Tigray and Amhara are mainly agriculturalists, tilling the soil with ox-drawn plows and growing teff, the main grain in Ethiopia.Highlanders use heavy cloth capes and wraparound blankets to combat the night chill. National dress is usually worm on festivals and church days, when streets and meeting places are transformed into a sea of white, as finely woven cotton dresses, decorated with colored woven borders are worn. Women of Amhara and Tigray wear dozens of plaits called Sherubal, tightly braided to the head.

The Somali speaking population lives in the lowlands to the east and southeast in the hot and arid bush country. They are mainly pastoral nomads, following the grazing places of their cattle.

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