Africa Day celebration event in Ireland made it clear for many that Ethiopia is not Oromia and Oromia is not Ethiopia

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May 30, 2012 (Oromo Community Ireland) – The African Day was celebrated colourfully on 26 and 27 of May 2012 in Dublin, Ireland. Many African embassies and communities across the country came together in open space to show of their culture, identity and the best of their community, their country and their continents at large. Association of Oromo Community in Ireland was not only one of these communities on the event but also the shining star of Africa and its people. Starting from the first day of the event, the community’s members and leaders were there at the event and were very busy in explaining, demonstrating and participating on different competition on the event.

The Oromo community’s pavilion was just beside that of the Ethiopian Embassy. Oromo community displayed beautiful Oromo artefacts including cultural costumes. Most of the Oromo gents and ladies, including leaders, were in their attractive costumes. The visitors have to wait for turns to see our artefacts, to try them and to take pictures wearing the Oromo customs, jewelleries, and ornaments. The Oromo community pavilion was full of Oromo culture. We had live Oromo coffee ceremony during the event where many enjoyed the fresh aroma and taste of Oromo coffee. We had the pictorial display of the world famous runners from Oromia such as Abebe Bikila (Ababa Biqilaa), Derartu Tullu (Daraartuu Tulluu) and Kenenisa Bekele (Qananiisaa Baqqalaa), whom many recognised them but did not know that they are Oromo children.

The members of the Oromo community used this big opportunity to tell every visitor that Oromo people are subjugated people under the tyranny of successive Abyssinian regimes for more than a century. Since most of them, even our African brothers do not know that we Oromos are under colonial rule, we explained that why Ethiopia is said to be a country that has never been colonised. We used the analogy of why British has never been colonised because it was a coloniser. By doing this we the Community members sent many to read more about Oromo. Many visitors promised to continue to be the friends of Oromo and left their contacts to be in touch with our community.

Our community and our people became the focus of discussions even after our beautifully dressed lady aaddee Ayyaantuu Bantii won the awards of “The Best Dressed female” on Africa Day 2012 competition of the event. To everyone’s surprise Aaddee Ayyaantuu, aaddee Seenaa and aaddee Makkiyaa; all three from Oromo community were the top three best dressed Ladies. All of them were in our well decorated and beautiful Oromo customs. Then came the questions like who are Oromos? Where are they from, etc?

We the Oromo community members used the opportunity to tell Kenyans, Sudanese, Ugandans, Somalis, South Africans etc communities, nationals and diplomats to support and understand Oromo refugees in their country. We explained that Oromos left and will leave their country to run away from colonial persecutions and they never migrate for economic reason as Oromia is naturally a rich country.

While this trend continued into the second day of the event keeping the Oromo members overwhelming busy, no one has visited the pavilion of Wayane which is just metres away from Oromo’s pavilion. To our surprise their pavilion was mostly without supervision and only occasionally an Irish lady comes into and goes out of it, no any other members of the Wayane Embassy in Ireland came except at the beginning and end of the show.

The first day we observed that there was one Oromo item in their show but the next day there was no any items that shows Oromo in there exhibition. We exhibited that we are not Ethiopian and the Ethiopian Embassy exhibited that Oromo is not Ethiopia too. Actually their pavilion has nothing to do with other Ethiopians at all. There were some pictures from the north part of the country, and a picture of Ethiopian Airlines. An Irish who occasionally goes in and out of the pavilion was in Tigre costume. We told the Irish lady who claimed that she is the former Irish Ambassador to Ethiopia, that Oromo is a great nation who is suffering in Ethiopian aristocracy whom her government is deaf ear to their cause for many years. She sympathised with us saying that if real democracy exists in Ethiopia, things would have been better. The lady informed us though that the Ethiopian Embassy was busy in politics of Somalia where she said “the Ethiopian diplomats are in meeting with Somali community”.

The African Day was a great success for Oromo Community in Ireland where the Community clearly and precisely provided information for many African and European nationals and diplomats that Oromo is a great peace loving nation which is denied of freedom of any sort and being subject to incessant aristocratic rule and slavery.

Oromo awareness has just started two weeks before Africa Day by running Oromo cultural exhibition in Fingal County Council public library in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. The exhibition continues until 15 June 2012 in Dublin City Council public library in the ILAC shopping centre which will start on Friday 1st of June 2012. The exhibition so far attracted a large number of visitors.

–Oromo Community Ireland