Unity (”Andenet”) – By Teodros Kiros, PhD

February 23rd, 2008 Print Print Email Email

In a recent article, Ethiopiawinet (Ethiomedia, Abugida and Tecola Hagos), I had attempted to articulate the idea of Ethiopiawinet. By Ethiopiwinet, I understand the contributions of a mosaic of world historical civilizations within Ethiopia, to the formation of the modern nation of Ethiopia. The civilizations are those of Axum, Lalibela, Great Oromo land, and the Southern parts of Ethiopia. The contributions of the South have yet to be carefully documented, but there is no doubt that they are there ready and waiting to be brought to sun light. I myself remain curiously engaged to witness the disclosure of these momentous civilizations- so that I can add them on to the extant list of the more known Ethiopian civilizations-Axum and Lalibela. (more…)

In a recent article, Ethiopiawinet (Ethiomedia, Abugida and Tecola Hagos), I had attempted to articulate the idea of Ethiopiawinet. By Ethiopiwinet, I understand the contributions of a mosaic of world historical civilizations within Ethiopia, to the formation of the modern nation of Ethiopia. The civilizations are those of Axum, Lalibela, Great Oromo land, and the Southern parts of Ethiopia. The contributions of the South have yet to be carefully documented, but there is no doubt that they are there ready and waiting to be brought to sun light. I myself remain curiously engaged to witness the disclosure of these momentous civilizations- so that I can add them on to the extant list of the more known Ethiopian civilizations-Axum and Lalibela.

Furthermore, Ethiopiawinet, I argue, is a synthesis of varied civilizations within Ethiopia, which have yet to be synthesized compellingly. I have not done that job to my satisfaction, as it is research in progress.

That the civilizations are within Ethiopia is not enough, some of my intelligent readers have argued, to compellingly convince Ethiopians that these varied civilizations which have been contaminated by NE to experience Ethiopiawinet as a living moment of a untied people. My readers are right, the lacunae has to be filled, and in due time, I will meet their objections.

The hurt and the divisions are so deep that only time can heal us all, so that we can all willingly live as a united people of a historic nation- drinking from the fountains of Ethiopiawinet mediated by ANDENET.

So understood ANDENET for now is only an ideal, but once the wounds of NE are healed, ANDENET can be a realizable idea.

Ethiopiawinet, as I understand it, would have to be grounded on Andenet, for the idea to function as a vital force that can unite the Ethiopian people, who remain profoundly divided by negative ethnicity.

I had argued in Dekialula, Nov 14, 2006, that “The recent explosion of the politics of ethnicity in modern Ethiopia calls for a re-theorizing of the idea of ethnicity itself. The situation is so grave that it compels a philosophical intervention. I would like to argue that ethnicity could be viewed as positive and negative, which I would call positive ethnicity (PE) and negative ethnicity (NE). We need to salvage the positive merits of ethnicity, and avoid the strong temptation of divesting individuals and groups of the psychological and historically necessary need of investing in ethnicity as a way of defending the differences that mean so much to those who believe in them. The unnecessary contamination of ethnicity neither need nor force us to throw the baby with the bathwater. The essential core of PE is the idea of diversity. The attributes of diversity are distinctness of experience expressed in language, customs, traditions and ways of seeing and doing things; individuality; dissimilarity of experience; constructive articulations of unique ways of experiencing the world; and openness”. Those words retain their relevance, as I seek to explore their relevance in the ongoing discussions of Ethiopiawinet, which I recently called Ethiopianity.

Thusly understood, ANDENET can be mediated by PE. Indeed, PE is the appropriate mood that united Ethiopians can bring to the palaver of Ethiopiawinet as they seek to proudly and positively share their customs, habits, languages and ways of life, as Ethiopians lovingly do at parties, when they are dancing away, unhampered by NE.

When Ethiopiawinet insinuates itself with our veins, it readily stimulates our peaceful comportment and puts us in the mood for ANDENET, or so I hope, in my attempts at a philosophical intervention through the tools of journalism.

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