Cultural Night: Ethiopia


Sean Lee

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


A customary lesson began Thursday's Cultural Night at The University of North Dakota. This week, it was the African nation of Ethiopia, the second-largest country on the continent, featured at the Loading Dock.

It wasn't the general facts about the over 85 million inhabitants, nor the rich history and heritage of the landlocked nation that got Tesfaye Mohamed tongue-tied.

It was the women.

“You don’t want to mess with Ethiopian women,” Mohamed said. “Believe me, I know.”

After all, Ethiopia is one of the first civilizations known to mankind to promote women in roles of leadership. It wasn't until European colonization that male-dominated governance took place, Mohamed said.

“Ethiopia is known by its bad things,” UND senior Gashaw Lemma said. “I wanted to express the good things my nation has.”

History alone has enriched the land of Ethiopia into a melting pot of sorts. Ethiopian history centers on the creation of man within its borders. “Whether you believe your ancestors are chimps or Adam and Eve, you came from Ethiopians,” Mohamed said.After the presentation, guests were treated to a traditional Ethiopian meal of wat, a beef stew served atop injera, a sourdough flatbread.

In addition, students enjoyed a second type of spicy wat containing a hard-boiled egg. “I dipped a piece of bread into the soup; it was really spicy!” one student said. “I don’t usually like hard-boiled eggs, but it was good,” another remarked.

Germany will headline the next Cultural Night at UND, held at the Loading Dock in the Union on April 7. Admission is free with authentic food costing just $1.