Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bic4643

Ethiopian Culture Quick Facts

17 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

I have found my Ethiopian spouse and her community tend to be very quiet about their culture. So I have compiled a list of interesting facts that other Americans spouses might find interesting.

Quick Facts about Ethiopian Culture...

• 80 million population. Major business languages are Amharic and English.

• The world’s oldest Christian nation with a large Muslim population. Most are farmers.

• Mixture of Middle East/ African culture. Conservative, proud, friendly, polite, and quiet nature.

• Average annual income is about 300 USD. Professionals average 400 USD a month,

• Popular greeting is the hand shake with an Italian/French style kiss on the cheek.

• Average Ethiopian has over 2,000 family and friends in their social network.

• Coffee is the national beverage. Ethiopia invented coffee and it’s their number one export crop.

• There is a traditional coffee ceremony for neighbors and friends on special occasions.

• All meals are hot and spicy stew served on bread called injera. Food is eaten with the right hand.

• Family oriented culture. Traditional male and female roles are enforced in the home.

• Women are usually expected to live with their parents until marriage.

• Women traditionally do not adopt their husbands “surname” in marriage.

• Underage marriage was common in the rural areas but is now illegal.

• Ethiopians do not have last names (surnames). Most are unaware of western surname custom.

• Orthodox Christians fast over 200 days a year and never eat pork.

• Orthodox Christians fast using a vegan diet. (No meat, no dairy during the fast)

• Weddings can last over 3 days. Gifts to the bride’s family from the groom are expected.

• Average woman has 5 children. Arranged marriages are common in rural areas.

• Family honor is a big deal. Dishonesty or criminal conduct is rare.

• Bribery, nepotism, and cronyism are common practice in business and government.

• Controversial news and speech is censored by the government.

• Challenge to authority and public arguments is rare.

• Nudity, pre-marital sex, children out of wedlock, and divorce are rare.

• Public discussions about sex between men and women are rare.

• Ethiopians claim there are no homosexuals in their society.

• Prostitution is legal but very discrete.

• Most who claim to be fluent in English are not. English comprehension is low.

• Most Ethiopians are not aware of that their customs and traditions are unknown in the west.

• Most have a distorted understanding of western culture and traditions.

• Quality of education background is low, 97% women are housewives.

• Quality of medical and dental care is poor. Most are reluctant to seek medical attention.

• The Ethiopian calendar has 13 months. The 13th month has five days (or six days in a leap year).

• The Ethiopian New Year begins in early September.

• Subtract 8 years from the western year to get the current Ethiopian year.

• Ethiopians clocks are 24 hours but start their day at 6am. Subtract by six to get western time.

• Ethiopians refer to world time as faranji (“foreigner”) time.

• Access to the internet is considered expensive and is usually through internet café rental.

• Cell phones are very popular. Failed connections and dropped calls are common.

• Adjustment to American English takes about 1 year after immigration.

• Many immigrant women are attracted to medical/health profession and men are taxi drivers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

I have found my Ethiopian spouse and her community tend to be very quiet about their culture. So I have compiled a list of interesting facts that other Americans spouses might find interesting.

Quick Facts about Ethiopian Culture...

• 80 million population. Major business languages are Amharic and English.

• The world's oldest Christian nation with a large Muslim population. Most are farmers.

• Mixture of Middle East/ African culture. Conservative, proud, friendly, polite, and quiet nature.

• Average annual income is about 300 USD. Professionals average 400 USD a month,

• Popular greeting is the hand shake with an Italian/French style kiss on the cheek.

• Average Ethiopian has over 2,000 family and friends in their social network.

• Coffee is the national beverage. Ethiopia invented coffee and it's their number one export crop.

• There is a traditional coffee ceremony for neighbors and friends on special occasions.

• All meals are hot and spicy stew served on bread called injera. Food is eaten with the right hand.

• Family oriented culture. Traditional male and female roles are enforced in the home.

• Women are usually expected to live with their parents until marriage.

• Women traditionally do not adopt their husbands "surname" in marriage.

• Underage marriage was common in the rural areas but is now illegal.

• Ethiopians do not have last names (surnames). Most are unaware of western surname custom.

• Orthodox Christians fast over 200 days a year and never eat pork.

• Orthodox Christians fast using a vegan diet. (No meat, no dairy during the fast)

• Weddings can last over 3 days. Gifts to the bride's family from the groom are expected.

• Average woman has 5 children. Arranged marriages are common in rural areas.

• Family honor is a big deal. Dishonesty or criminal conduct is rare.

• Bribery, nepotism, and cronyism are common practice in business and government.

• Controversial news and speech is censored by the government.

• Challenge to authority and public arguments is rare.

• Nudity, pre-marital sex, children out of wedlock, and divorce are rare.

• Public discussions about sex between men and women are rare.

• Ethiopians claim there are no homosexuals in their society.

• Prostitution is legal but very discrete.

• Most who claim to be fluent in English are not. English comprehension is low.

• Most Ethiopians are not aware of that their customs and traditions are unknown in the west.

• Most have a distorted understanding of western culture and traditions.

• Quality of education background is low, 97% women are housewives.

• Quality of medical and dental care is poor. Most are reluctant to seek medical attention.

• The Ethiopian calendar has 13 months. The 13th month has five days (or six days in a leap year).

• The Ethiopian New Year begins in early September.

• Subtract 8 years from the western year to get the current Ethiopian year.

• Ethiopians clocks are 24 hours but start their day at 6am. Subtract by six to get western time.

• Ethiopians refer to world time as faranji ("foreigner") time.

• Access to the internet is considered expensive and is usually through internet café rental.

• Cell phones are very popular. Failed connections and dropped calls are common.

• Adjustment to American English takes about 1 year after immigration.

• Many immigrant women are attracted to medical/health profession and men are taxi drivers.

Thanks for this little brief information about my country

Good luck


K-1 Time Line

Service Center:_California Service Center

Consulate: _Frankfurt, Germany

I-129F Sent: _2011-03-20

I-129F NOA1:_ 2011-03-30

I-129F NOA2:_2011-06-18

NVC Received: _2011-07-19

NVC Left:_2011-07-20

Consulate Received:_2011-07-25

Packet 3 Received: _2011-07-28

Packet 3 Sent: _2011-07-29

Packet 4 Received:_ 2011-08-09

Interview Date: _ 2011-08-24

Interview Result:_ Approved(After 3 weeks AP)

Visa Received:_2011-09-21

US Entry:_@ JFK 2011-11-16

Marriage: _2011-12-20

AOS, EAD, AP

Date Filed: _2012-02-07

NOA Date: _2012-02-13

Bio. Appt. Notice recieved_2012-02-17

Bio. Appt.:2012-03-12@ 8:00 AM in Columbus OH

Bio Done:2012-03-05 WALK IN- Columbus OH

State ID: 2012-03-05

DL Permit: 2012-03-08

AOS Transfer: 2012-03-14

AOS Touched @ USCIS: 2012-03-21

EAD/AP Approved & Card Producton: 2012-04-03

EAD/AP on Hand:2012-04-11

AOS_RFE: 2012-09-28

RFE Sent: 2012-11-09

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Jamaica
Timeline

Wow, very very interesting and different from American culture. I found a few facts amusing, almost unbelievable. Thanks for sharing!


K-1

09/17/09 Mailed I-129F

09/21/09 NOA1

12/04/09 NOA2!!!!

12/07/09 NVC Received Case

12/10/09 NVC Sent Case to Consulate

12/15/09 Consulate Recieved Case

12/21/09 Packet 3 Sent Out

2/12/10 Interview @ 8:30

APPROVED!!!!

2/26/10 POE @ JFK

Still haven't recieved visa yet: I was lucky enough to get my money back because the flight canceled.

3/2/10 Visa ready for pick up

3/3/10 visa picked up

3/3/10 POE @ JFK

5/1/10 Wedding

AOS

7/19/10 Mailed AOS Package

7/21/10 Package Received

7/27/10 Check Cashed

7/30/10 Recieved NOA

8/13/10 Case transfered to CSC!

8/18/10 Received biometrics letter

8/26/2010 Biometrics appt

9/13/2010 EAD and AP approved

9/18/2010 AP recieved

9/23/2010 EAD recieved

10/1/2010 Greencard Approved

10/09/2010 Greencard Recieved, DONE with USCIS until August 2012

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

Nice compilation. With very few exceptions, you are right on spot. Few more people may not know.

Largest ethnic group is Oromo people, followed by Amhara

Addis Ababa, the capital, hosts the second largest diplomats in the world (after New York)

Respect for elderly people is expected (you cannot argue with a very old man for taking your seat :rofl: )

Long courtship is common in relationship (no pickup lines)

Street beggars (including children) are common

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

Could the reason for this...

• Women traditionally do not adopt their husband's “surname” in marriage.

...be this?

• Ethiopians do not have last names (surnames).


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

Could the reason for this...

• Women traditionally do not adopt their husband's “surname” in marriage.

...be this?

• Ethiopians do not have last names (surnames).

In the US, we identify people with three names (first, middle and last name). In Ethiopia, a person is also identified with the three name combination - but quite differently (first/personal, father's and grandfather's name). The only difference is that in the west, middle name can be a name other than that of one's father and last name is usually not the grandfather's name but a shared surname or family name. An Ethiopian child cannot have the same last (or third name to be precise) with his father because they would have different grandfather. In US, surnames are sort of a symbol of a family (you belong to that family - which may explain why women take the new family's last name) whereas in Ethiopia, the third name is just the grandfather's name (now you cannot have the same grandfather with your husband, right?)

The other big difference is that in the US, the emphasis are on first and last name (middle name is left out mostly and some even don't have it). In Ethiopia, the first and the second (personal and father's name) is emphasized. For example, the US embassy in Addis Ababa will call you by the personal and father's name over the PA system (unless they know you are a US citizen).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

Could the reason for this...

• Women traditionally do not adopt their husband's “surname” in marriage.

...be this?

• Ethiopians do not have last names (surnames).

I don't have all the answers because Ethiopians (including my wife) don't share the intimate details of their culture with the outside world. However, if you ask them the right question directly, they will give you the answer you are looking for. However, it took me almost 3 years to figure out my wife's naming custom and ask her to explain it to me. In the beginning she seemed amused that I was unaware of her naming custom. I later realized the misunderstanding was mutual as she didn't really understand the origin of my western name as well. Here is a small segment of what I wrote on this topic a few months ago.

The western tradition of passing the family name (surname) from one generation to another is unknown in Ethiopian culture. Instead, Ethiopian children usually receive only one name (rarely two or more) at birth. This personal name is attached to the biological father’s name (rarely other names other than the biological father’s name are also used) and, together, it becomes a (habesha) a one-name system, used to describe a particular individual.

For example, Abebe Bikilla is the name of an individual whose father’s name is Bikilla. Unlike a western surname, the” habesha” name it is not passed on to the next generation as a second name.

Ethiopian women do not change their family name. This would seem obvious, as their second name is not a surname. I assume Ethiopian woman do not change their last name out of respect to their father. When asked their last name Ethiopians will usually respond, " You mean my father's or my grandfather's name?" Most Ethiopians who settle in the US use their fathers' name as their (last name/family name), although some use their grandfathers' name as their last or middle name.

This misunderstanding resulted in my wife having two different last names on her immigration documents. It took several weeks to correct this costly mistake. Also, be aware the synonymous use of the terms (family name /last name) on Americans documents, is equally confusing for Ethiopian nationals. To minimize the usual confusion during the drafting or review of identification to be used in official US documents, Ethiopian nationals should be informed of western naming traditions. Then advise them to use their passport names to create a western style (family/last/ middle name).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

Nice compilation. With very few exceptions, you are right on spot. Few more people may not know.

Largest ethnic group is Oromo people, followed by Amhara

Addis Ababa, the capital, hosts the second largest diplomats in the world (after New York)

Respect for elderly people is expected (you cannot argue with a very old man for taking your seat :rofl: )

Long courtship is common in relationship (no pickup lines)

Street beggars (including children) are common

Thank you I have added this information to my list of facts...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

Wow, very very interesting and different from American culture. I found a few facts amusing, almost unbelievable. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you. I had fun putting this list of facts together. I find Ethiopian culture facinating for many reasons including the fact they won't explain much about their ways until you ask them. So, I continue to learn new things every day...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

In the US, we identify people with three names (first, middle and last name). In Ethiopia, a person is also identified with the three name combination - but quite differently (first/personal, father's and grandfather's name). The only difference is that in the west, middle name can be a name other than that of one's father and last name is usually not the grandfather's name but a shared surname or family name. An Ethiopian child cannot have the same last (or third name to be precise) with his father because they would have different grandfather. In US, surnames are sort of a symbol of a family (you belong to that family - which may explain why women take the new family's last name) whereas in Ethiopia, the third name is just the grandfather's name (now you cannot have the same grandfather with your husband, right?)

The other big difference is that in the US, the emphasis are on first and last name (middle name is left out mostly and some even don't have it). In Ethiopia, the first and the second (personal and father's name) is emphasized. For example, the US embassy in Addis Ababa will call you by the personal and father's name over the PA system (unless they know you are a US citizen).

Very interesting....I also was told Ethiopians usually do not have a middle name either. What appears as a middle name is usually a name appended to the given name at baptism. Occasionally, the paternal grandfather's name is used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

Nice compilation. With very few exceptions, you are right on spot. Few more people may not know.

Largest ethnic group is Oromo people, followed by Amhara

Addis Ababa, the capital, hosts the second largest diplomats in the world (after New York)

Respect for elderly people is expected (you cannot argue with a very old man for taking your seat :rofl: )

Long courtship is common in relationship (no pickup lines)

Street beggars (including children) are common

Wow very interesting...I've added your information to my list of facts...thank you!!!

Thanks for taking the time to learn about my country.For the most part you are absolutely right.if i may add you forgot to mention Ethiopian ladies are very beautiful. :lol:

Thank you, I know I have much more to learn about your culture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

Greetings Ethiopian Friends and family,

American Naming tradtion -

I'm pleased with the comments from my Ethiopian fast facts post. There seems to be lot of interest in the respective naming traditions. My wife suggested that I explain the American naming tradition to Ethiopians who might not have a clear understanding of its history.

The American surname tradition originates from Western Europe. The father’s family name is adopted by his wife during marriage, and then passed down to their children.

This 600 year old western naming tradition derives from several sources: the nickname or first name of an ancestor; the ancestral village, or occupation of the father’s ancestors. Traditionally, American women and other western cultures change their family name when they marry. If an American woman remarries several times she might have to change her family name accordingly. If the woman is not marred, or the father of her children is unknown, the children are given the mothers family surname.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

Fascinating! Thanks, si man.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×
×
  • Create New...