“Safuu” – Oromo Moral Codes

August 26, 2012 (Ayyaantuu) — There are grass roots movements both in organized and non-organized forms to liberate Oromia from the occupation armies of the Abyssinian colonizers. These movements have transformed the Oromo cause over the course of the last forty years through a long protracted struggle.

Instilling Oromo moral values – “safuu” to regain our lost and weakened cultural heritages due to the heavy influence of the cultural domination of Abyssinians  for more than 150 years will help us to regain our integrity and identity to its fullest.  We are confronted with a severe moral crisis, an onslaught of materialism and lack of spiritual values. Instilling “Safuu” in our institutions is meant to revamp our moral and cultural codes without compromising your personal beliefs and religion. You can be a Christian, a Buddhist, a Muslim, a Waqefataa or a follower of Judaism or any other religion of your choice. Revamping Oromo moral codes doesn’t mean you have to abandon your current personal beliefs and religion.

Oromo moral codes are so complex in nature and our forefathers and mothers had “safuu” for nature- trees, rivers, mountains and hills, for humans – the elderly, the children, men and women, for their cattle and so on.

In the old good days, our forefathers and mothers had great respect for their forests and they never cut a single tree without any valid reason. They knew when and how to cut a tree. They had great respect for their waters –rivers, lakes and springs. They knew how to take care of nature and they used to live in harmony with it for millions of years.

We had safuu for the living and the dead. For instance, when lightning strikes and kills a person or a cattle, Oromos say “Isaa Baga.” They don’t blame their God, the lightening, the universe or the cosmos for the death. They know that they cannot change the course and there is no one to blame. There is no need of regretting the loss too because they know that past is down the drain.

I was asked by many people how I felt the death of Mr. Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. I said “Isaa baga!” like my grandparents and parents. I would have been glad if he were held accountable for the crimes he has committed against me, against our people, our forests, our rivers and waters.

To learn more about Oromummaa, the complex moral values in the Oromo Gada System of self rule, two energetic, passionate and prominent Oromo intellectuals, Professor Asafa Jalata and Professor Mohammad Hassan will come to Washington, D.C. to teach us about our cultural heritages, our moral codes, about conflict resolutions – Gumaa and Araaraa in the Gada System. They will join our influential and veteran politician and prolific writer, Obbo Ibsa Gutama, and a young intellectual and political activist, Habtamu Dhugo on September 1, 2012.

You are cordially invited to this historic event. Come up with reasonable and sensible questions. Make dialogues not confrontations. Resolve conflicts and never incite them. Show respect to these great leaders. If you disagree with their ideas, tell us your own without disrespecting or disowning them.

Kallacha W. Kune