You and I haven’t crossed paths lately. I’m not quite sure why. Possibly because I’ve been too busy, or maybe it’s because I’m too embarrassed to admit that I’ve become a ‘menga among the menages?‘ Remember when we promised never to become one of those? Ay lijinet! Many things have changed since I last wrote to you – Americans sent a black guy to the White House who, by the way, managed to kill that terrorist (talk about a cliche), the Arabs have been busy with revolutions, it is rumored that Ethiopians are now paying 180 birr for one Kilo of coffee, and I have started recycling.
But onto more serious matters. I hear there will be a huge gathering of Ethiopians in the Peach State in a matter of weeks. Such gatherings happen every year during the weekend of the 4th of July. It’s quite the anticipated event. Thousands of habesha people get together to watch football (the real one) and party those couple of nights away. Don’t think it’s happening in some yewedeke venue, as some might expect, no sir, it’s ain’t. It will be centered, i hear, at a huge Dome where the Americans play their version of eger kuass (incase you’re wondering there is no involvement of eger in this game.)
As you might expect, there are a list of etiquette one is advised to follow during such gatherings involving our people. So in case you decide to visit the State during that week, I’ve decided to share a few of them with you.
For one, you better not look shabby when you arrive to the event. The event is strictly ‘gotata free.’ Which is why, i hear, every habesha male and female goes onto a shopping spree at least 2 months in advance, even if they have to go on a diet of noodles and yegzer weha to make it happen. No one is going to get caught dead looking less than average. I must say, this gives me quite the worry since the only shopping i’ve done lately, and i assume this will be the case for a while to come, is at babiesrus. Hmmm I wonder if they carry sesky shoes for mamas? ( you know what, this could be a great business idea to pitch to the babiesrus people! hotmamasrus?… possible? No? ok i’m trailing of.)
Second, I hear you gotta have a lil extra dough in hand (as taboo as it is to discuss money, a good friend shared this insight with me). Aside from the expected expenses you may have when deciding to join this party, ( hotel, transportation, meals, drinks) you may find yourself in a situation where you feel you will have to pay for others. “Have to” here is a very sensitive and culture specific phrase. You won’t be forced to wash dishes if, say, you don’t pay for a meal. But yilugnta, the trigger of major stress in every Habesha, and ego, the torturer of every Habesha man, will force you to do so. Since the Habesha female suffers less from the issue of 10 anbessa autobiss-put-together sized ego, this problem is faced mainly by men.
Third, Fugera, for this week only, is allowed. Actually in some circumstances, it’s also advised. Keep in mind, this act is only allowed under a need-to-save-face bases. Don’t let yourself be caught in a highly exaggerated fugera. You won’t want to be blowing your own horn to be heard all the way to Timbuktu, one reaching the Metro area shall suffice. This is the case because of the countless high school and other related reunions that take place during the gathering. Let’s face it, there’s always that idiot overachiever that oozes out ‘i got a great life and i look better than you’ bullshit from his every pore. So feel free to embellish a little bit about your own life. Life ain’t perfect, and if you feel like you’ve been thrown a little more than your share of curve balls, and you don’t feel like being thrown a pity party by the idiot or that chemlaka ye’bole lij, forget your reality for that week, feel and look fabulous – yet abatu – man ke man yansal!
These are only a handful of etiquette that i hear will be respected by every Habesha that will be attending this year’s July 4 celebration taking place in Atlanta, GA. Lucky for me, since i currently reside in the city, if the above rules and regulations seem a bit too much, i shall spend my days at home, with my not so fancy attire and my in-need-of-some-embellishment lifestyle. But if i feel up to it, i shall join the party looking fabulous. And incase i run into you, Dear Diary, i promise to buy you the meal (ok, maybe not the meal, but definitely the drink), just remember to limit the Fugera, eshi.