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I’m an Oromo Ethiopian, But I am not Zeregna

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By Samuel Berhanu

I am Ethiopia First I saw this statesman bellow in Amharic few days back but I wanted to take my time and think about how to go about and respond to it. The statement was baffling to me because of how the person tried to define Ethiopianism. I’m convinced that the statement must have been written either as a results of Jawar’s statement on Al’ Jazeera, “I’m Oromo First” or the recent boycott against Teddi’s “Journey of Love concert” which got canceled. With that said, let’s go right to the statement in Amharic bellow which I tried to translate to English to the best of my knowledge. “The only way one can truly consider her/himself as an Ethiopian’ is if only she/he is free of identifying/affiliating oneself as….” well you fill the blank.

Does this mean one must not acknowledge his/her own heritage? In my case, I’m an Oromo Ethiopian and would that make me Zeranya/Racist because I defined myself as such? You are claiming that one must denounce oneself and take on yours to be considered an Ethiopian. Let’s be honest, the current Ethiopia’s culture is a reflection of the Amahara/Habeshas’ culture. Don’t label me Zeranya because of your preposterous definition of Zeranyinet.

I believe this type of thought is totally pure ignorance, egotistical and dangerous. Why is that you act as if you have the only right to define what/who I’m and I’m not? Who gave you that RIGHT and in contrary, who didn’t give ME the RIGHT to define myself? How do you guys feel, if it is the other way around? What is appalling to me regarding this matter is that, this pathetic ideology is practice by few. The truth of the matter is that from what I hear, the majorities of Amaharas, 70%-90% of the population are poor and live in the country side- innocent and hard working people just like other ethnic groups in Ethiopia. They have no stake in this issue; It is the once who are so called The Elites of Amaharas, who are by the way suppose to be educated and know better. This notion that one must disown her/himself and basically adhere to the Amahara/Habesha culture to be an Ethiopian is egotistical, foolish, damaging to our common good and would not get us anywhere. Your forefathers have tried to destroy, and change our culture, but wasn’t successful. Stop living in delusion and misguiding the majority of your people for your own self righteous agenda. People in general are good, want the same thing out of life: live in harmony with others, work hard and support their family….


Let us stop being selfish and think for once, what kind of world do we want to leave our kids/fellow human kind behind with. I would hope we can agree on better than what we have had. I do not mind being called an Ethiopian, but first that Ethiopia needs to represent me as an Oromo, exercise my God given right to the fullest . I love and Respect my multi-ethnic friends and family from Ethiopia, I am not a hater or Zeranya. I am just a person who is trying to exercise his God give right.

“ As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” ― Nelson Mandela

Love, Respect, Forgiveness Prevails.

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64 Responses to I’m an Oromo Ethiopian, But I am not Zeregna

  1. I’m with u bro,this stupid called themselves politician confusing our people while they are confused. I’m 100 percent Oromo Ethiopian period.

    Dagi
    January 5, 2014 at 9:41 am
    Reply

    • Dagi,

      First of good for you that you claim “100%” Oromo. However, you missed one thing. You can not be both (Oromo and Ethiopian) at the same time. These to identities are incompatible Period!!! Ethiopawinet is built on the grave of Oromummaa. You can fool yourself that you can be both and claim as such. But the truth of the matter is so far they never existed together. I understand you and your like minded fellows are trying to take that path. I and others like myself respect your right. But, rest assured you don’t even earn that place. If I/you live long enough we’ll see if that materializes.

      Qabso Jabeesaa
      January 5, 2014 at 6:16 pm
      Reply

      • I am ashamed that you make such statement. I am a proud Oromo, yet hearing such stupid statement from a so called Oromo is an embarrassment. It is possible to be a proud Oromo and also a proud Ethiopian ! I will allow no one (including you) to take either identity from me.

        Telila
        January 7, 2014 at 2:18 pm
        Reply

        • Without any doubt, Telila is NOT an Oromo activist. It is a shrewd non-Oromo person who is bent on throwing more fuel to the burning fire. By now we are used to such tones in social media debates. It is normal for groups to differ and express their opinions, that is the only way we can move forward, but we should not stuck at one place and repeat the same thing to each other over decades. However, people who are engaged in genuine debates based on tangible social problems should watch out for a few venomous people who inflame and distract the debate by spreading poisonous messages. And there are plenty around. It is becoming a common trend for extremist Oromos to pose as Amaras and post shocking insults just to push matters to extreme positions. Similarly, there are extremist Amharas who pose as Oromos and post outrageous claims which can by no means fall in the ranges of Oromo view points.

          Bonsa
          January 24, 2014 at 11:49 pm
          Reply

  2. Dera all we have to calm down.We have to come to the present reality of the country.
    The event of these days (boycotbedelle) show the triumph of ethno-nationalism over the outdated ethiopianism.We have to come and reslove the national question,we are oromo first,afar first ,amara first,tigre somali first ……. than ethiopian. after that every thing is possible. it is impossible to ignore my identity.come to wallelegn ethiopia,menelik ethiopia is dead.

    MOHAMED
    January 5, 2014 at 9:52 am
    Reply

  3. Nice Veiw

    omar
    January 5, 2014 at 9:52 am
    Reply

  4. They don’t get it. I don’t think also they don’t know it. But we are marching. We will see that. We will never bee converted to habasha. Habasha is not African and I don’t want to change my identity to something else.

    gadaa
    January 5, 2014 at 10:03 am
    Reply

    • Let me ask you one question, please?
      Let say certain number of newborns taken by adoption and brought up some where than Oromia ;then when able to start articulation /speaking /,they speak only the language of the area where they brought up /grow/ despite their biological family are Afan Oromo speakers. How do you level these children?
      Are they Oromo first ?
      2)If one is born from Amharic speaker father and Afan Oromo speaker mother as mother-tongue, how do you level him/her?

      Kifle How.Megersa
      January 7, 2014 at 8:36 am
      Reply

  5. God made man and woman in his image.

    I don’t care whatever Ethiopian u are! You are Just an Ethiopian as far as you have Ethiopian citizenship. African American, Hispanic American, Latino American, white…black,…brown.. all these are qualifications people attached to other humans because they look differently or are from somewhere else either to take advantage of them or to do something with them.
    If you are a proud oromo Ethiopian, proud Tigere Ethiopian… please remain so without too big noise or causing trouble because of that or interfering with others life or right because of that. If you are proud muslim or Christian Ethiopian remain so without abusing the right of others.
    I always wonder why Tigres and some Oromo have amhara ghost complex. Am not amhara chauvinist (or even amhara if you want tribal analysis) as some would like to call others but I don’t see any good reason why we keep on this tribal cat fighting rather than discussing more sober issues. TPLF like has put all OLF soldiers into kaliti prison at one time outwitting them pretending peace talk now oromo extremists still are obsessed with whining amhara that, amhara that while TPLF is doing worse to them.. … and when the TPLF is taking that opportunity to divide and rule by building even more controversial statues in anole and Somali region….

    For Gods sake come up with better inclusive idea while you still remain proud Oromo Ethiopian, how we can learn from our past and move on together for the better, how we can coexist respecting each other because the other options are not going to work for centuries to come believe me I am a prophet!!!!

    Stop the Amhara-Oromo-Tigre cat fight and ethnic inferiority complex, divide rule policy promoted by TPLF and save this nation!!
    God Bless Ethiopia.

    freedom
    January 5, 2014 at 10:26 am
    Reply

    • Kifile,
      Sir Amhara/Habasha want to give us his identity and we refused simple. If we want the gohest we would have taken the habasha ghost.

      dhufu
      January 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm
      Reply

    • Freedom,

      Charity begins at home!!!

      wedinakfa
      January 7, 2014 at 5:28 pm
      Reply

      • wedinakfa,

        Don’t worry I daily soul search myself before my maker!

        Come clean, be sure about yourself and your leading uncles in palace who are clinging to power in blowing the trumpet tribalism and spreading the gospel of hate for over 2 decades.

        Our ancestors in an epoch of widespread African/global scramble built and gave us a great country despite their limitations and short comings.

        No single handed tribe or group must take the credit or blame for the old things as there was the contribution of all from all corners of the country.

        This is the age of civilization. We don’t go back to grind tribalism, inter ethnic fighting, uplift harmful traditions and rituals for sake of sanctifying ethnic ideology.
        Instead we should strive for diversity, equality, superiority of justice /law, respect for human right. Today great nations are made great because of education, technology, diversity, justice, law and order among other things; not by narrow tribalism/ethnocentrism.

        Freedom
        January 8, 2014 at 12:45 pm
        Reply

  6. Just a single question r u Ethiopian Or Oromo when u reply to some one in foreign country? Well for me I’m Ethiopian. No one asks y if u r are Oromo Amhara Debub Tigre or whatsoever. Have u ever meet foreigners who kniws about Ethiopia? They will ask u where r u from? Ethiopia u answer the next question will be from addis ababa? If the person u meet knows more about Ethiopia he will ask u about ur beher then. Lets forget this Amhara stuff racists are everywhere but not the 30 something million amharas r racist or the 40 something million oromos r racist, its the elites problems. I remember Aregawi berhes Interview where he said the broblem is with the socalled elite politicians not with the real ppl. Guys, the real ppl of Ethiopia r busy fighting for servival on their farm land with their poor children they dont mind our Amhara OromoTigre Debube stuff. If u happen to be their guest they don’t asm u ur fcken bher may bethey will ask abiut ur where abouts the common way of starting discussion. Naggan turra jenna ka. Dena kerimu Malet new bakh abo yedenegetal ende chinigna meslot.

    kiya
    January 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm
    Reply

  7. bickering and loggerheads over those who made the transition is not a priority at this point in time while our peoples are in torments and agonies. They are being tortured and killed in our prison systems. Let us try to alleviate their pains and dispel their sorrows. Statues and monuments will be built later on. Let us not distract our attentions. Folks, let us be sensitive.
    Aluta continua!
    seifu degefu.

    seifu degefu
    January 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm
    Reply

  8. well my friend i thought you are going to saying different than juwar. who does,t know his ethnicity in ethiopia? it seems to me you know well your ethnicity and i am happy to accepted as you wish why not ? but you missed the points the peoples who saying let us be ethiopian their intention not like you explained it because of they were westerner or they dont live in ethiopia it,s because of the commotion created by oromo liberation front, we all witnessed not long a go the oromo liberation group they called them self denouncing their nationality on live television on the street of america and cairo i dont know what is your answer to that but for the peoples who were saying Ethiopia first it,s only for good purpose and i am one of it too ,and that way we all work for the better purpose of everybody…………

    asemahagne abebe
    January 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm
    Reply

  9. Being oromo and being Ethiopian are not mutually exclusive. It has been and it will continue to exist together. I disagre with those guys who can’t see beyond their ethinic
    idenity and i do disagree with those who denny the existance of multiple races in our nation. We are both an oromo ethinic and ethiopian citizens! Both can coexisist without the impact of moving politics day by day. The people are intermariedd live together regardless of their race and we should continue build on a better nation for all!!!

    getu
    January 5, 2014 at 1:27 pm
    Reply

    • Getu,

      In my opinion you’re dead wrong. One can not be Oromo and Ethiopian at the same time. If you talk about citizen, I was Ethiopian when I left the country because that was the only citizen I could get. Now, I’m an American. I chose it and was not imposed on me. Therefore, one can change citizenship as he/she wishes. We’re talking about what nationality you identify yourself with. I for example I am an Oromian (although Oromia is not an independent country) I would strongly prefer to be referred as Oromian for origin of nationality and American for citizenship. What’s your problem with that? I didn’t say you are not Ethiopian or I didn’t say you’re Oromian. Not only I claim it. If I find a conducive environment, I would educate my Oromian people to peaceful fight for that right. In other words, If there is a true democracy in the Ethiopian empire and one can campaign on any ideology be it union, secession, federalism, etc. I would spend my energy, time and finance to advocate for an Independent state of Oromia. Why other fear that I still don’t understand. If the majority of 40% of the current population in Ethiopia which some count as Oromo, voted to remain under Ethiopia, I would respect their choice. If the majority of Oromos voted to secede, my opponents should respect that.
      You also indicated about intermarriage. These is a common lame excuse that many raise. In my opinion, if people love each other they can continue living the same life as they have in the past respecting each others identity. I understand that is not easy but just because of very tiny segment of the population, we shouldn’t or wouldn’t stop our fight for freedom.

      Qabso Jabeesaa
      January 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm
      Reply

      • Obbo Qabso Jeldessa,

        Shut your mouth. If you are no more an Ethiopian. you have no right to comment about the people of Ethiopia no matter what their ethnicity is from one or another. Be ready only to talk to your country USA presidential election. I say this because the issues of Ethiopians are only for Ethiopians not for USA citizens. Do you have an argument point? ZIP YOUR LIP, bastard traiter. If you understand the origin of human being (biology 101) we all are Homo sapiens. If you live in USA with other races together, what is the problem to live the Ethiopian people as they wish rather than disseminating your out dated and unfounded Oromo politics. You have a deficiency syndrome of Vit, A (night blindness or DAFINTE in AMHARIC Language) I better recommend for you to eat at least 2 to 3 carrots (Daucus carrotta- if you understand the botanical name properly)

        Jegnaw
        January 6, 2014 at 7:04 pm
        Reply

  10. Samuel Great job!! Identifying your self as an Oromo, Flemish,Jew, Arab,Amahara,and so on has noting to do with racism!! Being an oromo or Amhara you can be the best Ethiopian, Kenyan , American etc.
    It becomes racism when there is a belief that ones identity is superior or inferior to others .Non recognition of ones identity is basically a racist behaviour. non recognition of identity emanates from deep rooted ethnic stereotypes and other discriminatory behaviours and beliefs based on cultural, ethnic, national , religious and other stereotypes.
    I am too an oromo and good Ethiopian! I love my country and my people .I am not a racist.Those who say you are not an oromo (where in fact i am an oromo), are ‘hardcore’ racists!
    Samuel again thank you !

    mekdes
    January 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm
    Reply

  11. well my friend i thought you are going to say different than juawar but you did,t .who does,t know which ethnicity he belong to in ethiopia it seems to me you know your ethnicity very well and i am happy for that but you missed the point on the peoples who proud to be ethiopian ,ethiopianism is the one bring us together on todays politics their for some of the peoples you did,t like they just only worry for the country we all called home specially the group of oromo peopls who based in minisota they come out on the streets of america denouncing their country and that is very scary things if you ask me but if we put aside our ethnicity and try to work for the better of all ethiopian so that,s the main reason they chose to be called ethiopia not the way you explained it ….

    asemahagne abebe
    January 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm
    Reply

  12. what is the big deal about whether you belong to a certain ethnic or racial group.
    you are first a human being. recognise your humanity before your ethnic group. once you do that you will have respect for other humans.

    all human beings are the same which ever ethnic category you belong. The need to live happily is universal. it does not matter which ethnicity you belong to.

    Think for the well being of all the people within Ethiopia. see them as human beings like your self. they need what you need. they care for their families as you do. they like to work and make a living as you do. etc.

    Lets see our selves at a human level.

    titan
    January 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm
    Reply

  13. Well said my brother Birhanu. This guys will never comprehend this fact. They always want to live in an illusion life their fathers father had before.

    Belew
    January 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm
    Reply

  14. As an Oromo, there is nothing that defines me better than my Afaan Oromoo and Oromo culture. The word ‘ Ethiopia’ is a Greek word. It is an alien word. As my oromo friend, Mohammed Abbas, once said ‘Ethiopia’ belongs to a museum. Your ‘Ethiopiawinet’ is nothing but speaking Amharic language, practicing Amhara culture and having green, yellow and red flag. And we don’t share these things with you.

    Samuel, don’t try to define us. Let us define ourselves as Oromo. We don’t fit into your Ethiopian box.Samuel, don’t try to impose the values of others on the Oromo. We don’t want to be as AGASES as you. We are not Ethiopians. Period.

    Samuel, you want the Oromo to abandon their language and use Amharic language. This is what the Europeans were telling African to use English, French and Portuguese in writing their literature. And Ngugi wa Thiong responded like this: “There is some thing wrong in saying to a human being, let me cut off your legs, and I will give you artificial legs which will be perfect. Let us walk with our two feet.” Samuel, leave us alone.

    Oumar
    January 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm
    Reply

    • @Oumar
      While the writer is a great Oromo man to whom I say kudos, You are a pure God damn Woyane. both Oromos and Ethiopia are there to stay together, though unfortunately this is a bitter fact for you. Try to take it easy man. Warreerte watuwatti argittanni

      Jamal
      January 6, 2014 at 3:54 am
      Reply

      • This article is one best medicine for our unity. Heed guys,

        Jamal
        January 6, 2014 at 4:41 am
        Reply

  15. I do not care in which tribe the writer belongs, as long as we give break to those poor and indigenous farmers who are evicted from their ancestors land by tplf. The problem is the current situation in Ethiopia is good only for tplf politburo, its cadres, and members. It is not beneficial to ordinary Oromos. The writer might be a good proud Oromo, but he failed to mention the injustices taking place in that country today. To make matter worse, he beats up the drum of Amara just like those racist tplf members and their beneficiaries would. Racist groups always must have a scape goat or a target. For Hitler it was the Jews. The Jews are a successful people in art, science, medicine, and wealth. So, the old destructing behavior exhibited by Cain that is jealousy kicked in in Hitler’s mind. After that you know what happened to the Jews. In America racist history, the story is the same. Poor white Americans started to ask questions about the wealth distribution. The wealthy Americans started to blame the black for what is befallen whites and point their finger toward the Black Americans as a cause for white financial calamities. Some poor white Americans were also told they were superior than their fellow human. That is very attractive isn’t it? Most people will fall for that. Our tplf brothers must find a target practice to full and confuse us. They have found a poor, beaten, abused, harassed people, and they told us these people are our problems. What do we do? We ( I include the writer himself ) believe these greedy individuals and began to jump on our bed. Mr. writer, how do you like the generals in today’s Ethiopian Army? How many Oromos do we have their? How about the Oromos in tplf dungeons? Do you care about them? Well if you do not, I do. Do not be afraid, write about the injustice committed in today’s Ethiopia. In doing so, you do the most noble thing which is serving humanity. If you do not do that, you may be Oromo but a shallow one. Don’t try to guess my tribe. I have to raise above that. No force on earth can put me in a box. I refuse to play a fool’s game.

    Gideon
    January 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm
    Reply

    • @ Gideon, God bless you.
      It beggar belief we fails to be wise and see the reality on the ground. All our problems be it religion, ethnicity, economic, social etc is due to the nonexistece of democracy in Ethiopia. Let’s work together to build democratic institutions in our country, I am 100% sure all of the other problems can be solved pretty easily & fairly. My brothers & sisters the lets fight for democracy together so that at least or children’s can have a better Ethiopia where they can be proud of.

      Tadesse
      January 8, 2014 at 1:25 am
      Reply

  16. As much as you have the right to call or define your identity however you want, the writer of the statement that you are attacking has the right to define what he thinks is his identity and or his right definition. No one can dispute that you have the right to call or define yourself anyway you want, including Arsi Oromo Ethiopian, Arsi Islam Oromo Ethiopian, Welega Christian Male Lench Clan Ethiopian etc… Who cares about it? Most people don’t!

    Nahomi
    January 5, 2014 at 8:15 pm
    Reply

  17. Samuel do not fool yourself or do not be fool by somebody or you need to pass your nafteyna messege , all this emiye-ethiopianists are either all Amharas , Oromos with the identity crises or ignorant people grasped false Ethiopian history, which have been written by Ethiopian Dabteras .To get the real history read the books written by Oromos or by foreign schoolars. Today Oromos are fighting to different butchers, TPLF and the old nafteyna system which is tring to come to power by the name of emiye-Ethiopia ,which will never happen.This is just as a bit of your advise,

    Real
    January 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm
    Reply

  18. Hi folks- it’s me Samuel. After looking through some of the comments which have been made on my post, I thought I jump in and make one quick point, if I may. I’m not surprised to see the comments from different points of views. However, one point that I would like to make to my fellow Ethiopians is that we cannot reject the fact that WE HAVE A PROBLEM! Our past and present leaders, plus our own attitude have leaded us to where we are today. So THE BIG QUESTION IS, WHAT ARE WE WILL TO DO ABOUT IT???? We have two choices in my opinion, One: we can continue business as usual, leave our problem as it is, continue to FIGHT, continue to be selfish and pass it on to our future generations ( our Children and their Children and let them continue to duke it out). Second: If we want a better tomorrow for our kids/fellow Ethiopians, we get real/brave enough and take off our EGO hats and genuinely deal with our issues and work through our differences and build together an Ethiopia that all are represented equally.
    Our time on this earth is limited; we must think in a way that we should leave behind a better world for the future generations. Let us Stop being selfish, and truly dig deep inside and ask ourselves what we, I, Samuel, is/are willing to do/sacrifices to make this work? I refuse to gamble with my kids’ future and
    not do something. If you care about the future generations, I beg of you all to think about the problems which we are facing and see how we can collectively work on them for the common good of all Ethiopians.

    Samuel Berhanu
    January 5, 2014 at 11:13 pm
    Reply

    • Great point! Your points are sensible… If we all are sensible, that is what we need to pursue. Unfortunately, we will go through a lot of suffering before the power at the helm can start thinking sensible things like this. The fanatics are also busy derailing any progress that may be made.

      Nahomi
      January 6, 2014 at 4:19 pm
      Reply

    • Well matured and word- class idea. Thank you! I don’t understand those who are still talking about Amhara, Neftegna….What had happened during Era of Oromo Expansion /Movement/ before Minilik’s came to power? They controlled a lot of land dislodging and killing others ;They impose their culture up on others which lets the currently called ‘Oromia Zone’ to be created and perpetuate. That is what happened during Menillik’s Era but didn’t dislodge the power of local rulers of Oromo speakers. The king of kings is apt to choose his own official language to communicate with the rest under him. One should not expect the current modern level of thoughts which came up to be happened at that era.We should analyze in a SMART/Specific, Measurable, Attainable,Real and Time-bound/way .Some are saying that still Amharas are trying to take power and do….Which Amhara party or…Rather, Amharas are looking forward the what and why about of all recently happening against them .They don’t talk about ”Somebody did this and that against us more than 100 years ago ”;They believe in Unity, Sovereignty and Mutual benefit despite a very recent massacre, cleansing /eviction as per being Amharic speaker. Saying this, Let’s Love, Respect, Work together for our future betterment. Let’s Shoulder our future generation bright life with peaceful Country .They call it Ethiopia ,and I call it Home !Long live Ethiopia and all its people.!Thank you in advance!

      Kifle Megersa Abi
      January 7, 2014 at 9:56 am
      Reply

  19. my brother samuel you wrong. you see that is TPLF agenda. ok you oromo in the short term that is ok. but if you think in the long term this ethink division rule its kill you and you became like somili you are not oromo or you are not an ethiopia that means you dont have any country, samuel because in oromo there is arusi oromo,welega oromo, ambo oromo ………..i can right so many you will be divide and fight each other this tplf ethink divison it never be end. even its cames to your famili. samuel you an ethiopian period.

    mela
    January 6, 2014 at 5:16 am
    Reply

  20. The more your write abt such issues the more the problem exists. B/c you promoting the idea on people mind may be without even knowing it. The best way to deal with it is to ignore it.

    mahi
    January 6, 2014 at 5:24 am
    Reply

  21. To be proud of your heritage is a worthy cause. It becomes virulent when it is practiced to separate self and suppress others.

    Tesfa
    January 6, 2014 at 6:01 am
    Reply

  22. Oumar the Egyptian,

    we know your strategy,

    Ethiopia shall rule for ever.

    wosse
    January 6, 2014 at 7:00 am
    Reply

  23. Dear Samuel Berhanu
    I like your rather moderate tone. I am really astonished how an Oromo can have any doubts about his Ethiopianess as Oromos form the majority of the ethnic groups. Ethiopia without Oromo has no meaning. I urge you to read Professor Amarthya Sen’s book Identity and Violence. He takes aim at what he sees as the ” ‘solitarist’ approach to human identity, which defines human beings as members of exactly one group.” This view, he argues, is not just morally undesirable, but descriptively wrong. Our lives have shown us that there are myriad identities within each individual, Because all of us contain multitudes, we can choose among our identities, emphasizing those we share with others rather than those we do not, so I simply cannot see the problem of being an Oromo and Ethiopian. Also of course terrible things happened in the past. but how can we be held to account for the past crimes for no one elected those rulers who committed these crimes. Let’s move on and stop this labelling.

    Alex
    January 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm
    Reply

    • How do you define the “Oromo” identity Mr Alex? I can give you a solid and coherent definition for the “Ethiopian identity”. An identity which embraces us all despite our cultural, religious, linguistic or ethnic differences. I’m always laughing at people who considers Ethipianism as a representation of the Amhara culture and identity. This perception is, I think, either a manifestation of inferiority complex or ignorance. There is no, and never had been, any unique Ethiopian culture. Take for example our dance. 20 or 15 years ago, every dance, Tigrigna, Amarigna, Guragign, Oromigna or Welaytigna belonged to all Ethiopians. We enjoyed to dance or practice all freely without considering any cultural property. Now each dance has its own boundary in every one’s mind. Even if you tried to dance, you will at least think as if you are crossing a boundary from your belonging. As far as I know, Ethiopian cultural dance has never been represented by “ye amarigna eskista” alone. If you goes on with cultural dressing, food, etc you will find the same cultural trend. Any way, yemogn lekso hulem yaznanal.

      Gama
      January 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm
      Reply

  24. Qabso

    My brother Qabso here we go again identity problem.I told you I’m an Oromo Ethiopian and you are telling me there is no such thing while there is,in fact I’m an Ethiopian American now living In the USA.

    Dagi
    January 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm
    Reply

    • Dagi,

      You didn’t get the point. Ethiopian-American exists. I know some Oromo-Americans. In fact they have legally registered organization and they participate in activities that are pertinent to their members. Like wise there are other nationality-American. Last time I checked the U.S.A government did not impose on them American identity. At the same time, It allows them to be both.
      Americanism was/is not built and run on the grave of those peoples original identity/country/land. On the contrary those nationalities come over the land of opportunity and live in America.

      What makes the Oromo-Ethiopian identity different is the fact that Ethiopianism/Ethiopiawinet was built on the grave of Oromo nation. How did that happen in the past and how is it still happening if you ask? With the help of European armaments the Abyssinians conquered and defeated the Oromo nation. Once they captured the land, the new comers settled there. Not only they settled, they formed instituations upon abolishing Oromo institutions. For example: The government system, official languages, religious institutions all replaced with the occupiers government system, language, religion, etc. As a result, the natives become the serfs the settlers became the land lords. That’s what I/we mean Ethiopianisim was built on grave of Oromummaa. Today, a little better but still under occupation. Go visit Mekele and visit Oromia, it will be apparent to you. To be fair go visit Mekele and visit Amhara Killel too.

      That is history and we can not re-do it By the same token we shouldn’t be holding their descendants responsible for what took place over a century ago. What we can do is let the people choose their destiny. Obviously, the occupiers fiercely object to that. Not because we demanded their rights. Just demanded ours. That’s when all the things get messy.

      In summary, Ethiopianism would not allow Oromummaa to rise up. These two confilicting entities can only live apart not in union.

      Dagi, next time pls learn how to compare Apples to Apples not Apples to Oranges.

      Qabso Jabeessa
      January 7, 2014 at 5:14 pm
      Reply

  25. what is always suprising me that Amhara activists are hidden themselves under the name of Ethiopia & prioritizing amharization which is geneticaly inhereted to them from their forefathers. What you have to know that Ethiopianism is not come by denying ur identity to overcome and control other nations to costruct pseudoethiopia. Denying & simply praising pseudoethiopianism, fo them, is modern way to subjugate other nations. But, this ideology already outdated with their minds.

    nebiyu tefera
    January 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm
    Reply

  26. It is surprising! why ones hate z ilndependece of Oromia? Or Amhara (if they wish)?…..what is z problem with it? why not we do respect z interests of z majority people? Z rights of minority comes later. If I want to define myself as Oromo rather than Ethiopia why others feel headache? Can u totally ignore z right to secession? First let me excercise my natural right and turn to democratic one. Living under yoke of disguised Ethiopian identity/nationalism is destractive ideology. Let me first well estabilish my identity and then think about existing together.

    Gammee
    January 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm
    Reply

  27. I know a man by the name of Samuel Birhanu and both his parents are Oromo. What I don’t know is that if the writer is the Samuel Birhanu I know. Some comments saying we shouldn’t care whether a person is Amhara, Oromo, Tigrre, etc. I respectfully disagree with that notion and I have at least two main reasons why.

    1.Obviously there are nations and nationalities in the Ethiopian empire that have differing languages, cultures, life experiences so on and so forth.
    2.In a democratic system people should have the right to get organized in any kind of group they see fit to their common interest.

    #1. I’m sure we all agree that there are many languages and other attributes that people in the empire have adopted over generations. All or some of these languages and attributes stem from different origins. As we try to bundle all these to one identity inevitably we neglect some at the expense of the other. Such action creates a recipe for disaster—in a social science. We all know that had been done for thousands of years and as a result some languages have disappeared; some cultures have been overwhelmed by others and cease to be practiced. This is what is called forceful assimilation. Unlike, the previous eras, people are more aware of their right and feel attached to what they consider their own. In this case they love their language and culture more than they love someone else’s . Once/when we directly or indirectly start imposing on them what that they consider someone’s language/culture/identity, we’re violating their right. As a result they will begin developing animosity against the out group.

    #2. It’s very healthy to organize people according to what binds them together. In fact, one of the major thing humans have in common is their respective language. So it’s absolutely necessary to form a group based on language where language is a factor. It’s true that language is not the only way to organize people. In countries there is no language difference or no major religion difference, people are organized and structured based on their religious sect. Iraq is a very good example; the society is organized or grouped based on the lowest religious hierarchy. Even the sits in the parliament are allocated based on sect: Sunni, Shia, etc. I understand some of you may say that didn’t benefit them and they wage war against each other. My short response for such argument would be if people play by the rule there wouldn’t be violence and subjugation. That is beyond the scope of what I’m trying to explain here. One last example on how to group a society is geographic location. The point I’m trying to make on this point is that to be organized based on ethnicity should not be viewed as bad governance.

    I respect the writer’s view that he identified himself as Oromo-Ethiopian. However, my view is opposite to his and I hope he respects mine. I very much doubt that the vast majority of Oromos share Samuel’s view or identify themselves as he did. I guess most of your readers would say “yes, they do.” In the past 20 or so years, I have seen more and more Oromos rejecting their Ethiopian identity and would love to be referred as Oromos/Oromians only. I see this in diaspora and back home (as I converse with them in private)

    Finally, IF HE IS the person (Samuel Birhanu) I know, I would urge him to ask his father what his [father’s] 6th grade school report card showed for citizenship during Emperor Hayle Selasse’s regime. Actually, his father shared this to many of us in public.

    While thanking the Zehabesha website for allowing such debate on this interesting topic, in addition to this website, I wish Ato Samuel presents this and/or similar writings to forums where more Oromos dialogue.

    Thank you,
    Qalbbesaa

    Qalbbesaa
    January 6, 2014 at 9:24 pm
    Reply

    • Obbo Qalbbessa- For most, I thank you for taking the time to comment on my post. I welcome and respect your point of view on the matter and I would hope that you do the same. I truly believe that at the end of the day, if Ethiopia’s government system becomes true democratic in the form of Federal government such as the United State or Netherland type of system, Oromos would not mind living in harmony with other nations, as Ethiopians. I cannot speak for all Oromos but this is just my opinion. The world is even getting smaller, the main thing is that we need to push for democratic Ethiopia where everyone can practice their own God given culture, have the right to and control over their resources as a nation on their land. Have their individual languages used as their nation’s language; for instance, Oromia region/nation- Afan Oromo would be their spoken language and same for other nations, Amaharas, Tigirays, Ogadens etc. In addition, Afan Oromo, I believe should be one of the federally recognized and used languages equally as Amharic.

      I challenge you Obbo Qalbbessa- see for example what Mr. Nelsen Mandela did; you seem to be very intellectual person and I don’t need to get into the details, however for reference purpose, Mr. Mandela chose to discipline his anger/believe for the atrocity which had been committed towards his people and made a decision which he thought would be better in a long run for his people and others such as the whites and Indians, etc, even though that meant for him to forgive, and live along with his adversaries. I am not being ignorant of my people’s history, but at the same time we cannot dwell in the past and miss out on future opportunities for the better of our people Oromos and other Ethnics around us. We need to make smart decision for the better future of our people and others.

      P.S: I might be the same person you might be referring to, my parents are from Bodji if that helps to confirm who I’m. Respectfully, Samuel

      Samuel Berhanu
      January 7, 2014 at 1:21 am
      Reply

    • Mr Qalbbessaa,

      pls allow me ask few questions on your comment.

      I totally agree with you in that organizing based on ones ethnicity should not be view as bad governance. That´s fine. But how can such social organization can be viewed as an identity? How can such ill-defined identity come before once a citizenry identity?
      What good would such social organization offer you if the particular ethnicity is distributed all over the country? Can people from different ethnic group who shared the same language, religion or geography be member of this social organization? Or do you need ethnic segregation in order to “well establish” your Oromo identity, to quote Gamme who commented before you.

      Gama
      January 7, 2014 at 3:37 am
      Reply

  28. I really hate to talk about race or ethnic or tribe. And I only find it in Ethiopians websites. Haha, the plenty thing in Ethiopian website is nothing but about tribalism. Go to Awramba, Aiga, Nazret.com, Zehabesha,… it is all about your tribe and my tribe cheat chat, bric brac, … you are all korokonda rasoch. People with little head talks about people, people with big head talks about big ideas. I call you all people of little head. Blokes, you are living in the 21 century ? can you try to learn from the developed world something good? I am sure most of you live in Europe, North America, yet, you still stuck in the ruse of your ethnic. Guys, time is precious, do something for your people instead of fighting over your tribe. Whether Oromos came from Kenya, Somalia or from another planet, it does not matter or it is not relevant for this age. They are in Ethiopia and they have 100 % to live as Ethiopians equally with any Ethiopian. However, the attempt to over-write Ethiopians history to fill a void in the psych of some people can not be accepted. So please accept the in situe or de facto and live in peace. Focus on peace and love instead of hating each other. Even if you get a microcountry with in Ethiopia, it will not give you any thing different. Lean from Eritrea? Learn from South Sudan. Both yearned for separation, but you can see it yourself. Please focus on developing Ethiopia for all of us who live in it regardless where we came from. We are all human. I was born naked; No one limited where I have to live. I can anywhere I fit in. So please, please focus on other issues that are important. Please get out of small box of tribe. I swear the quest now is to conquer outer space new planets, I do not see anyone chewing tribalism. The only I come across tribalism in Ethiopia in particular and Africa in general. Can you guys upgrade your brain from tribalism to Humanism? please do. you can download a software that can upgrade your brain. To do this please play a computer game called planet conquest. It will help you. Thank you.

    Gezaee Hailemichael
    January 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm
    Reply

    • Brother Gezaee,

      Not only KOROKONDA RASOCH, if there is a word lessthan that it fits. Because KOROKONDA in his time degraded or decomposed in to minerals and maintain the fertility of our soil where we produce foods and sustain our life. But, those people who have thinking from the tribal point of view are bad people. Even if they die at one point, the place where their grave remain barren. Because they contaminate the soil with toxic substances which kills productive plants and become main reason for CHIGARE. It is good and advisable to eradicate them either using chemical methods or physical one. I do not think they are important for the well being of the people who live peacefully with out seeing tribal as a major distinction element in the function of life.

      Jegnaw
      January 7, 2014 at 8:00 am
      Reply

      • I agree with you; they are human toxin ; but we must fumigated them like rats from our country bro. The Ethiopians wanted bread and butter on the table. They do not want to kill their fellows. As you said, we have to kill them using political insecticide or fumigated them using political chemical that clean them from tribalism.

        Gezaee
        January 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm
        Reply

  29. Gezaee
    The futur of ethiopia is ethnic.or Union of nations and nationalities.There is no ethiopian culture.there are ethiopians cultures. We are nations and nationalities,we have to build a new contact to reach a country like switzerland orCanada.No to forced unity.and uniformity.

    koya
    January 7, 2014 at 3:40 am
    Reply

    • Please do not mention Canada; please forgive me, you are comparing heaven and hell. There is no ethnic in Canada. There is no place racism in Canada. Please forgive me, do not mention Canada with the barbaric and primitive Ethiopia EPRDF who live in primitive communal society.

      Gezaee
      January 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm
      Reply

    • Who forced you ? Still you are under the Woyane regime.since 1991GC or 1983 EC. I do not understand the point of your argument . You the Qubee generation are so confused. YEDENKORO LEKSO MELISO MELALSO AND NEW YILALU ABEW/ IMMA siteritu. You can not define what a nation, nationalities, people and other terms properly but you talk unfounded and baseless YECHAT politics. establishing and disintegrating a country is nit an over night job man. It is not as easy as your DAD divorce your MOM. Think over it again and again. Be matured enough and farsighted. Do not be narrowminded like Shek Jawar, a pseudo degree owner and yechat politician. When he becomes stimulated with catheonine and cathin instead to find his wife to spend his time on the bed, he fabricated pseudo agenda and has started to disturb the normal life of the Ethiopian people. Think humanly and not barbarically and vulgarly.

      Astemirachew
      January 7, 2014 at 4:15 pm
      Reply

  30. I’m oromo first! Praise God that created me oromo.

    hundisha
    January 7, 2014 at 6:12 am
    Reply

  31. Berhanu and others:

    Please note that Habesha and Amara does not mean the same. The word is derived from the words Ka, Ba and RA. All together it means children of the sun. This name was given to the Kemit people who were living along the Nile valley. It does not belong to one ethnics. Of course they were black people. They were were wearing only one badge in their skin and that was black skin.

    seifu degefu
    January 7, 2014 at 9:30 am
    Reply

    • Is amhara meaning is evolving with time and condition? It used to be Beuty, then HIghlider, now Cildren of Sun and Black.

      summii Diina
      January 7, 2014 at 12:01 pm
      Reply

  32. Wake up friends from playing the role of unfortunate characters in TPLF’s continuous series of drama.We preach good moral values in churches and mosques. We try to make ourselves as good as an angel with outsiders just to conform to good moral values but when it comes to local issues we are becoming more cruel and brutal to our neighbors. We need to examine our philosophy of life. Friends, let us devote our effort to the common good.

    We should stop being so emotional that contributes to hostility, hatred and eventually to bloodshed. We need to understand our current enemy is not Amhara or Oromo or Tigre etc but lunatic/irresponsible/ self-centered system of oppression . Hence,the problem of the current situation will not be solved by pointing our fingers to A B C D ethnic group. Let us not mislead innocent civilians to violence and leave dark spot in history to coming generations.

    Leave anyone to speak for himself or herself. The so called educated ( be it Amhara, Oromo, Tigre etc.) are so nonsense collection of people. They are short sighted and emotional. Freedom will never be realized with the current mentality of the majority. You are manipulated by TPLF propaganda. why someone bothers so much when some group of people are claiming they are in particular Oromo or whatsoever. We need to know that it is their right as long as they are not forcing you to be the same. Is it more beneficial to be an Ethiopian to Amhara than other groups of people? I do not think so. It is more important to work on TPLF’s weak mentality. Try to defend being an Amhara than worried so much about Ethiopia If you are Amhara. Defending oneself does not mean hurting others.

    Some youngsters are driven by a propaganda played by TPLF to lead bloodshed among people. It will not grant you freedom it is systematic means to drive you into madness and violence. Hence, the regime uses this as a justification to throw you to jail. By doing so, the ruling elite continues to subjugate the people by directing the same kind of drama again and again.

    Let us make sure that we are part of the modern civilized history of mankind.

    Bob:u cannot fool people all the time
    January 7, 2014 at 2:16 pm
    Reply

  33. Thank you Amhara people for all the contibuation you made in the past 100 years.

    loloyigrmal
    January 7, 2014 at 7:53 pm
    Reply

  34. Samuel,

    I wish I could get the chance to debate/dialogue this topic with you in person since we’re already at it on this platform, we might as well continue.
    Below is the list I picked from your response to my comment. Underneath each point, please see my outlook.

    1.”If true democratic system is established Oromos would not mind living in harmony with other nations as Ethiopians”:
    Since we have not seen a true democratic system nobody can conclude the outcome but speculate. However, anyone who has witnessed the Oromo political movement during the very short period the OLF participated in the transitional government in 1991, would speculate contrary to your opinion. I’m not sure whether you were in Ethiopia at the time or even had any involvement or interest with Oromo cause back then or even in recent years. As you rightly said this is your opinion. The appropriate answer to this is we don’t know.
    2.“The world is getting smaller”
    I don’t know in what context you mean the world is getting smaller. If you mean due to the expansion of communication medium (roads, telephones, transportation, etc) and Information Technology then I would say you’re RIGHT. If you meant to say nowadays, there are fewer countries than there were before, then, statistics is not on your side. Many mega states have shrunk in size and their former subjects formed their own sovereign territory and the types of government they wanted. According to the UN since 1991, sixteen (16) new countries were added to the list of independent nations while two (Germany and Yemen) formerly disintegrated nations unite. If you’re suggesting we don’t need to add another independent nation in the planet while the plant is getting smaller, I’m afraid, your reasoning did NOT check the facts and does NOT make sense.
    3.“Mr. Mandela discipline his anger…..chose to forgive…..”
    I’m pretty sure you’re picking up on what our foes use for scare tactic. Let me explain: Our opponents always belittle our cause as something that stem out of anger/hatred. Our leaders when they set out for the liberation movement didn’t draft a policy that shows hatred or anger nor to this day as people we declare hatred or showed anger against our former or current oppressors. Our quest is simple; let’s determine our future destiny as people. I recalled an interview I heard via a radio program from one of the liberation leaders. “Nuti umataa biro jiibinaa yknis lafa keenya irra namaa kaasnna jennee hin beeknuu. Isaanumatu umee isaanumatu itin nu hammeesaa” The closest translation is “We never declared that we hate other peoples nor we have the intent to deport anyone or group from our land, they [foes] are the one who fabricated it and they are the one who blame us for it. I don’t mean to say some individuals do not demonstrate anger and or emotion towards other group. In fact, we see that even in such civil discussion from both sides of the aisle. In my opinion those are cowards and irrational. When the time comes such behavior should be dealt according to the rule of law. In other words, these types of action do not rise to the level of policy setting and will be handled under the law.
    4.“I’m not ignorant of my people’s history ….. we cannot dwell on the past and miss out on future opportunities…”
    I agree with you we should not be dwelling on the past. And we’re not holding the current generation responsible for what their ancestors have done. I understand why it seems like we’re dwelling on the past. I think the reason why it seems so is the vast majority of the Abyssinians especially the Amharas still do not acknowledge the problem. If you don’t believe there is a problem, then, you cannot find solution for it. The other reason is history has to be told continuously so that people learn about the past whether good or bad.
    I’m not sure what you mean by “miss out on future opportunities”. My guess is you meant to say why we don’t focus on developing resources, etc. My answer to this would be we can’t even use our resources; we’re not governing ourselves; we can’t decide what to do with our land and natural resources so on and so forth. It’s not by choice that we’re missing on future opportunities. Even if we shut our mouth up about the past and try to work on our future, our landlords (occupiers) would not let us do that. You reminded me what I heard from a guy who tries to renovate an old school and clinic with the help from foreign donors and diaspora Oromos. According to this gentleman to clear out used school and clinic supplies from customs in Finfinnee, it would take him 3 to 4 months. Where as any aid the diaspora Tigreans send to Tigray gets cleared and transported right away to wherever it needs to go. Finally, this gentle man gave up and quit this Good Samaritan duty and back to the U.S. and resumed his retirement life.

    Qalbbesaa
    January 7, 2014 at 11:44 pm
    Reply

  35. My father is Tegray and my mother is Oromo. Am I Ormo first or Tigray first? Please guys don’t confuse us. Your identity is not defined by your blood line but your psychology. Those who live in remote areas define themselve more with their local culture and those near to town define themselves easily as Ethiopians.

    Gudu
    January 8, 2014 at 1:49 am
    Reply

  36. አንተን ብሎ ኦሮሞ!! ታዲያ ምን ይጠበስልህ። የሰው ሀገር መዉሰድ ለምዳችሁ፣ የእይያንዳንዱን የቦታ ስም እንዳልቀየራችሁ ሁሉ፣ የዋሽንግተን ዲሲን አንድ ሠፈር ወስደን Little Ethiopia ካላደርግን አላችሁ። ወዲያው ማኖ መንካታችሁን አወቃችሁና አላዋጣ ሲል አፋችሁን ሰብስባችሁ ተቀመጣችሁ። የት ሄደ ያ ሽለላና ፉከራ፣ የት ሄደ ያ አለኛ ሰዉ የለም ትዕቢት፣ የት ሄደ የምንልክህ መንፈስ? አንተ ጋ ሲደርስ ፈሰስ አለ? ወያኔ አስተነፈሰልህ?

    John
    January 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm
    Reply

  37. opps…I thought you are going to say something different but the thing is Being Ethiopian is inclusive to all other peoples, that is the point. If you say you are Oromo and not Ethiopian you are racist but as Ethiopian you can me Oromo Ethiopian, Amhara Ethiopian, Tigray Ethiopian and others

    minga
    January 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm
    Reply

  38. Dear we have the best constitution.We only not achieved real democracy,but this will come. If some want to keep their identity as oromo,or afar,or somali it is ok.If some have probleme w<ith the name ethiopia we have to agrre to change it. i propose Horn of africa union ,you can propse yours. everything must be possible . We have to build a country were every nation agree. not forced .and this is possible.

    koya
    January 10, 2014 at 7:17 am
    Reply

  39. Here we go children lost in the field.
    Every one wants teach his/her way of defining things. All hard headed rigid heads. Some inserted his religion like “freedom”. If his god has my face i wonder how my kind created this infinitive universe. Imagine I am minute even smaller than a viruse if you go to the moon (forget about stars) and try to find me with your telescope or microscope. So please do not mix religion with politics. Religion and politics together are dangerous. They bring violence, war, turmoil, genocide.
    Coming back to the point, only Amhara tribe worry and carry the word “Ethiopiawinet”. They think its their property. Why? because they ruled the country for a century and it’s hard to erase that feelings. So I don’t blame them for this emotions. I don’t have hate for them but I have the right to criticize them to bring them to the right path if they are mature and flexible enough.
    Whether you are …first or not at the end all live in one country so this doesn’t bother me much. You can say whatever you want and Jawar has absolute right to say so. This is democracy.
    The country should stand in one pillar. Pillar of justice for all horizontally and vertically. Period.

    habe
    January 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm
    Reply

  40. Qalbbesa- So what is your solution/s? I would stick to my statement, “If true democratic system is established, Oromos would not mind living in harmony with other nations as Ethiopians”. Obviously this is my opinion, but I strongly believe that the majority of Oromo people would entertain the idea. There are countries with such a political system where this model is working, look at countries like Switzerland, South Africa and The United States are a perfect examples (if not perfect) of a true democratic system where people live in harmony. I do not see why this would not work in Ethiopia, call me naïve, but someday, we the Oromos leading the way and others joining, will make this happen. There is a great expression, “Where there is a will there is a way.”

    My whole idea in posting this writing initially was to challenge the writer about his/her definition/categorization of Ethiopianism, I was very baffled by it and denounced such a contentious statement. In addition, I was hoping to spark healthy and constructive, none divisive conversation among fair minded people which I believe this post had done to some degree.

    Gandhi said once, “We must be the change we seek.”

    If you are in MN, I would welcome the opportunity to meet up and discuss more.

    Respectfully, Samuel

    samueelb
    January 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm
    Reply

  41. TPLF and OLF mad dogs are very confused.You just Negro that why the rest of the world knows you .Do not try confused poor Ethiopian people because you did killed a thousand in 1983,1984 and 1985 in the south part of Ethiopia.We the people never forgot what happened to our family’s.

    Selamu zesmaiat
    January 14, 2014 at 3:04 am
    Reply

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