Photo Essay 2013

Hiwot Berihun

Entry Form

Self Portrait

Hiwot Berihun

Essay

The Diaspora

I was born in Ethiopia and came to the United States at a young age.  My parents raised us with a mixture of American and Ethiopian culture. Growing up, I was more American than Ethiopian. I didn't have a chance to go back to visit growing up. When I heard about an opportunity for me to be in Ethiopia for the summer, I couldn't pass it up. I clerked at a law office.   My experiences outside the law office in Ethiopia aided in understanding not only to my subject matter, but in life. By going back and working in Ethiopia – I was considered a diaspora.  Diaspora is defined as consisting of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union. I felt great to part of this community. However, I think the country contributed more to me than I could have ever imagined.

During the weekends, I traveled to different areas of the country and saw cultures that I was never prevue to when I was living in there.  A particular town two hours from the capital caught my attention out of all the places I've visited. It didn't have the best landscape of the country or offer the amenities of many touristy spots. What it has is the most amazing people living in that town. In a town of approximately 500 people - there are two churches (Orthodox and Pentecostal) and a mosque, two major languages spoken, and approximately five to six different ethnic groups.  People in the town are hospitable, loving, and all around amazing.  The aura is peaceful. As an outsider, one could not discern there is such a diverse background of the people in town.    For example, in the picture of The Market, the merchant in a pink cardigan spoke a different language than purchaser, in a white scarf.  The people in the market come from a different area from the country and many of them do not speak the language of the townspeople. However, they manage to sell and run their businesses effectively.   In a world of many religious and ethnic wars, it is refreshing to see a town of people with different religions and ethnic background living peacefully.

Photos

Peacefulness

Peacefulness

 

The Orthodox Church

The Orthodox Church

 

The Market

The Market