Facts About Ethiopian Culture, Geography, and History
Ethiopia is the second most crowded nation in Africa, it’s also a history rich nation. Which means there are plenty of awesome facts about this interesting country to talk about. But we’ll only focus on twelve and if you know of some other one that you want to share, hit the comments section.
12. Ethiopia was never colonized
Ethiopia is the main nation within Africa that was never formally colonized; in any case, it needed to overcome Italian forces twice to stay free. Ethiopia and Russia are the two countries in the world to have never been occupied. This is in large part to amazing unity between the different kings, political and military genius, and finally a national sense of defiance.
11. One of the oldest countries on the planet
Ethiopia is among the most ancient countries on the planet, having been established in 980 B.C. While most African countries are much younger, Ethiopia has been an independent nation since ancient times. It has been predominantly a monarchical government, that only ended as a result of a coup officially on 12th of September in 1974.
10. Ethiopians celebrate their New Year on September 11
They call it Enkutatash. It is the first day of the new year in Ethiopia, or Meskerem 1, in the Ethiopian calendar. Big celebrations are held throughout the country, most notably at the Ragual Church on the Entoto mountain. With families gathering to share a traditional meal of injera and wat.
9. Ethiopia has more than 80 different dialects
Ethiopia is home to a population that speaks more than 80 different languages (about 88 to be exact, with 2 being extinct). Most people however speak Oromo and Amharic, which together are spoken by about 63% of Ethiopians. English is the most widely spoken foreign language, so don’t worry about getting around on your visit to Ethiopia if you’re an English speaker.
8. Considered the first Christian state
Ethiopia is also thought to be the world’s first Christian state. For a long time, Armenia was thought to hold this prestige, however, this claim has recently been challenged by scholars. The scholars don’t assert that Ethiopia was the first country to adopt Christianity as it’s state religion, but rather the possibility that Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea) was the first Christian nation.
7. Ethiopia is home to great tasting homemade wine
On your visit to Ethiopia, you can also experience the great taste of their homemade wine called Tej made from honey and a shrub – gesho. The recipe and tradition of making it are over 2,000 years old. Tej is so popular that it is often referred to as the national drink of Ethiopia, cherished by everyone (except Muslim Ethiopians, who eschew alcohol).