The aim of the heritage festival is to educate Ethiopian youngsters about Ethiopian history, culture, and traditions, as well as the contributions Ethiopians have made to the United States. The theme of this year’s festival, “Your Roots Produce Your Fruits,” is meant to show the importance of our ties to our motherland and how its culture can influence our young people in beneficial and meaningful ways.
Friends of the Ethiopian-American youngsters are invited, as well as the community at large, to partake in this high-
spirited celebration and appreciation of one of the oldest cultures on the planet. This year the festival will be more kid-centric, so there will be soccer, running competitions, tug-of-war games, sack-races, and plenty of other activities geared toward our young people.
Ethiopian Diaspora Organizations Collaborate
Early in July of this year, the Ethiopian Sports Federation of North America (ESFNA) will be celebrating the 29th year of its annual sporting event in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Last year the EHSNA Heritage Festival was held at this same time and plans were afoot to repeat the time and date this year. But, members of both organizations wanted to attend both venues.
The EHSNA deferred with the spirit of cooperation that marks the historical success of organizations working together within the Ethiopian Diaspora Community. The ESFNA sporting event will proceed as planned and the EHSNA has happily agreed to move the date of its heritage festival to July 27-29. As noted the Society will seek to hold a similar festival during the first week September. Exact times, dates, and places will be forthcoming.
Last Year’s Heritage Festival: Tough Act to Follow
Last year the festival featured artists and their works such as Mekibib Gebertsadik and Meseret Desta. All sorts of exhibits, from ancient coins to stamp collections, were available for viewing. Ethiopian authors were on hand and many poets shared their verse that helped to awaken the spirit of Ethiopia and Ethiopiawinet.
At the Georgetown University Mult-Purpose Sports Center, the stadium was fluttering with Ethiopian flags of green, red and yellow, and the banners of the Ethiopian Heritage Society. Music and dancing were also part of the celebration with a major cultural troupe of 15 artists entertaining the crowd with traditional and culturally diverse Ethiopian songs. The young Abyssinian Band also performed their mix of acrobatic rock and roll and traditional Ethiopian dances.
Success Last Year Means Success This Year
EHSNA’s Festival last year was a great weekend where Ethiopians from all over the USA and Canada came together to celebrate and honor Ethiopia. Friends and acquaintances mingled, the young and old shared the spirit of Ethiopia and Ethiopiawinet. Young children played together in the Childrens Amba, making flags and necklaces, and sharing and helping one another.
EHSNA is confident that this festival will be even bigger, more successful, and more enjoyable for everyone. The support from the public and the success of the Festival has motivated, inspired, and encouraged the Board members of EHSNA to strive once again to preserve and promote Ethiopian heritage in North America and beyond.
July and the Heritage Festival Are Fast Approaching
As last year, the Heritage Festival will be held on the campus of the Georgetown University in Northwest Washington, D.C. Handling the logistics behind such an event takes a lot of coordination. The Heritage Festival Committee wants widespread involvement, but cautions that vendor space is limited.
The Ethiopian Heritage Society of North America (EHSNA)