Ethiopia is as rich and complex as a continent.
It’s impossible to describe it all in just a few words, but let us try to give a summary of its amazing diversity by describing some of the things that make Ethiopia truly unique
In Ethiopia it is possible to find great elements of history from the earliest archaeological findings of the first primates like “Lucy”, 3.8 millions of years ago, to mysterious monuments before Christ, to the amazing variety of art and architecture linked to the diffusion of Christianity and Islam in the medium-age.
Ethiopia is and has historically been a beacon for all those countries in Africa that fought for independence, since it is the only country in Africa that was able to resist the colonialist invasion in the XIX century, maintaining its integrity, authenticity and unique traditions.
Few people know that the majority of the population in Ethiopia is Christian. Furthermore, Ethiopia is the first country in the world forging coins with the Christian cross, adopting the new faith as a state religion in the IV century. This tradition has been defended by several threats, maintaining until today the ancient and fascinating rituals.
Ethiopia was the first country to receive and host Muslims migrating from Mecca, becoming a model of peaceful coexistence. Mixed families are not rare and from daily life to public holidays the mutual respect of the faithful is widespread and well-practiced by everybody.
“Smiling, welcoming, restless, simple… they look really happy!” This is how travellers use to describe Ethiopians after their visit, shocked by how different they are from their expectations. From north to south, from the lowlands to the highest villages you can find amazing diversity in the people of Ethiopia, their local clothes, lifestyle and traditions. But their core values are the same everywhere; family, respect of elders and environment, and pride of belonging to their land. What the traveller learns in “The land of Origins” is a big lesson about the unity of humankind in its amazing diversity.
The land of Punt… the African Jerusalem… the African Camelot… the Saba Kingdom Legends evoke all the wonders of Ethiopian heritage. Nowhere else in Africa is it possible to find such diverse and stunning monuments together in one country; rock-hewn churches, medieval castles, and megalithic stelae. There is still much to be discovered but not all questions need to be answered to appreciate Ethiopia’s fascinating architecture.
The sky seems nearer, the land wider, the water limitless… Ethiopia’s unique and breathtakingly vast landscapes are one of the most amazing discoveries travellers will enjoy during their trip.In Ethiopia you will see cliffs and plateaus with breath-taking gradients falling into a patchwork of farmlands with huts and circular churches sitting on top of tree covered hills. Abrupt gorges, slow rivers and wide lakes break this magnificent land.You can climb above 4000m and then drop into one of the deepest depressions of the world, 115m below sea level… Hold your breath, let this scenery amaze you.
Due to the big variety of people and ecosystems in the country, there is a wide variety of different locals foods across its regions, but surely the most outstanding one is the injera, a local flat bread prepared with the endemic teff, a cereal that produces a very little grain, but with a great nutritional value. Injera is cooked on a hot stone and served with various spicy stews. Ethiopians enjoy sharing the dish between table companions, demonstrating mutual trust offering “gursha”, the best bite, to them. Therefore injera is not only interesting for its gastronomic and nutritional properties, but as a sample of a culture of sharing and enjoying life together as a community.
The Ethiopian Orthodox church developed a unique pentatonic musical system that gives a special and genuine touch to all their religious music, accompanied by special instruments like the “krar”, the “systrum”, the sacred drums and, above all, the holiest one is the “beghena”, a harp with 10 strings, representing the 10 rules of Moses: it’s so sacred that its sound is not considered as a music, but as an expression of the divine. But music in Ethiopia is also about fun and identity. Across the country people enjoy their own local dances and music, transmitting pride and joy of belonging to their land. Finally Ethiopia is also well known worldwide for its unique jazz style created by a group of artists who creatively merged the pure beats of the classic jazz with genuine Ethiopian rhythms.