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Melkam Genna or Merry Christmas 2012

An Ethiopian Christmas card.

January 7 is Ethiopian Christmas.  We ventured to The Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Aurora, Colorado to celebrate.  My family had an amazing time.  This year we went down with a Wyoming contingent, we were three families that celebrated Genna (Christmas), from the Cowboy State.  My husband and I very much want to teach Vander about Ethiopian cultures, but we are at a huge disadvantage living in Wyoming.  I am so thankful for The Ethiopian Evangelical Church and Pastor Ermias he is so generous and cares for our children.  I am so pleased that Vander gets to be around many families that look like us. 

Vander and Mihretu enjoying their Doro Wat.

We ate delicious Doro Wat, a spicy chicken stew and Injera, a sourdough pancake that is like a giant crepe, with Ethiopian coffee.  Then we played games, the church set up tons of stations with Ethiopian games for the kids.  We didn’t make it to very many, Vander loved every game he played and didn’t want to leave each game to try another one. 

Vander learning how to eat Ethiopian style.

One of the games Vander played is called Quileblebosh.  The concept of the game is like Jacks, but with stones.  I was harder than it looked because in Jacks you catch the ball after the bounce, in the game you throw a stone and try to pick up five pebbles. 

Football! (Soccer!) The Ethiopian past time!

Learning to play Suzy 123!

The next game Vander played was Suzy 123, it is a version of Chinese Jump rope.  And it is also known as bladder in Kenya. 

Suzy 123

Mehareben - Ethiopian Duck, Duck, Goose!

The last game Vander played was Mehareben which is an Ethiopian version of Duck, Duck, Goose.  The way Ethiopians play, they say the verse, “Mehareben yayachu?” Have you seen my hanky?  And the seated children reply, “Alayenim.” We haven’t seen it.  The child with the hanky drops it behind someone who is seated, then that person becomes “it” and tries to catch the hanky dropper, who tries to get in their seat before they are caught.  We could not pull Vander way from this game to try any others.  They had nine other games to go to, plus hair braiding.  Hopefully next year we will be able to experience a few more. 

Mehareben

Vander & Mihretu learning how to dance Ethiopian style!

Ethiopians follow a different calendar than we do in the U.S.  They follow the Ge’ez or Julian calendar, which Christmas is January 7.  Several other countries that also follow the Julian calendar are Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, The Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Moldova.

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One Response to “Melkam Genna or Merry Christmas 2012”

  1. Linda Starr Says:

    So interesting to learn of other cultures and the Julian calendar, the games do indeed look like a lot of fun.