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Diaspora Eritrea’s Summer Festivals


Eritrean Festival in Washington, D.C. - August 2013


Diaspora Eritrea’s Summer Festivals

By Bereket Kidane,

No matter what part of the globe you live in, there is always an Eritrean Summer Festival near you that you can get to this time of year. Following the initiative of the Eritrean Community of Italy and liberation era nationalistic fervor, the first Eritrean Summer Festival was organized in Bologna, Italy in 1974. Since then it has spread to all corners of the globe where Eritreans live and has become one the biggest and longest-running summer cultural festivals of the African Diaspora.

The vaunted Eritrean-American Community of the Greater Washington, DC area is holding its annual summer festival this weekend.  The importance of the summer festival is that it has become a representative focal point of Eritrean culture and art. Concerts are always at the center of the festival. Eritrea’s top musicians tend to tour the globe this time of year and hit the different festivals held in the world’s most cosmopolitan cities where there are sizable Eritrean communities.

One of the goals of the festival has always been to introduce Eritrean culture to wider audiences as well as youth born and raised in the Diaspora. Another feature of the festival is to highlight the peaceful co-existence that takes place among Eritrea’s diverse cultural and ethnic groups as well as their way of life and traditions. The program of the festival has always been multi-artistic and multi-cultural. But mostly it is about the food and music.

The force that the celebration of Eritrea’s proud culture, history and nationalism plays in bringing its people together is of huge importance since the international media tries its hardest to paint Eritrea in a negative light without really making the effort to understand the country or its people.

So whether you are in Australia, Middle East, Africa, Europe or North America, go visit an Eritrean festival near you this summer (or winter if you are down under). And don’t forget to bring your kids!

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Diaspora Eritrea’s Summer Festivals Reviewed by Admin on 3:56 AM Rating: 5

35 comments:

  1. You bet I will go to the festival this weekend. Mis deqi adey, deqi rubay, shenen kibil iye.

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  2. why tigray want festival like eritrea and in same month?

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  3. Because they are suffering from copycat of Shaebia syndromes.

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  4. You´re right, there was a vibrant Energy in Bologna this year, as Bereket Kidane pointed it out, it was such a beautiful event to see Eritreans coming from all over the world and other foreigners, it´s unique difficult to describe it. So our brother´s of america Enjoy your gathering.

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  5. Tegeru illom iyom..

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  6. This dude thinks festival is Eritrean private property. At Least Tigray has something to celebrate,why would Eritrea celebrate,exodus, death,destruction,isolation???.

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  7. Fyi,it's 40th anniversary celebration.

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  8. agames are obsessed with copying everything eritrean. they want to be just like eritrea.

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  9. thank you for the good wishes brother cane libero. mucho gracias! grazie mille.

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  10. what's next for tigray? is tigray going to try to become independent country like Eritrea? I bet that's next.

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  11. collateral damageAugust 7, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    yeah like that worked for Eritrea?

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  12. You are good on copying everything Eritrean, you will soon loose your agamisation :) you call yourselves Eritrean names, your melody is nearly Eritrean you dance like Eritrean your tigrigna is likely Eritrean. You try to prove us right that we are more modern and confident.but not the mekele tigrigna lol
    Your low self-esteem is your only problem that you always envy Eritrea and do all harm to our people for generations. Woyane is the result of greedy and Hasadat tegaru, whereas our zigzag roads called by our SMART forefather as LBI TGRAY !
    You can never stand by your own without harassing, copying, blackmailing, begging and humiliating our people of Eritrea and go behind to lie to your teeth to your masters to gain soe coins from your masters. But sooner or later the honeymoon is over and your grand children have to pay the price for generations to come by Somalis/Somali Ethiopians/Oromos/Sudanese/Kenyans/Egyptians/Eritreans:)
    Wait and see

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  13. agame inferiority complex is just too much to overcome for them. they are doomed.
    I would advise them to be secure in their agameness (whatever that is). apparently it is not good because they are always trying to copy anything and everything that is Eritrean in an attempt to come across as being modern and civilized.

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  14. Chaps no reason to have this level of animosity b/w the people of Eri and Tigray. No body is superior so don't be too egotistic. It ain't worth it. Looking down at any group of people is not only uncool but also has a neg consequences. I REMEMBER DURING THE DEPORTATION OF PEOPLE OF ERI ORIGIN FROM ETHIO,THE MOST COMMON REACTION I HEARD FROM SOME ETHIOPIANS ESPECIALLY TRIGRAYANS WAS THAT Eritreans in Ethio HAD BEING LOOKING DOWN AND DEGRADING US FOR MANY YEARS AND NOW THEY DESERVE THE TREATMENT THEY GOT. There are good and bad people in both Eri and Tigray. It is a lethal and unforgiveable mistake to alienate the good folks from both. The bad ones should be singled out, exposed, humiliated and crashed.
    Let us not sweat the small things and focus on the most important things. My questions to Bereket are as follows:
    1. Where does the money generated from the festival go?
    2. Is the budget and account balance of festival organizing groups at respective locations easily accessible to We the people? Are the leaders of festivals elected by the local people?
    3. How has the participation rate in DC and Toronto festival changed over the years? Naturally, it should be growing larger and larger as new immigrants arrive to both nations. Is it getting larger or smaller? If smaller, why? I noticed from the video of the opening ceremony at Toronto Festival most of the participants were kids and parents. What happened to the young adults b/w 17-25 years old?
    4. How robust are the educational activities? Is the cultural education to the diaspora youth given in Tigrinya or English? Most likely a significant number do not spead Tigrinya. Besides discussing the history of eri struggle for independence, what are the other most popular and common educational activities for example in DC and Toronto Festival?
    Thank you very much in advance.

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  15. Libi Tigray TiwiywayAugust 8, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    Tigray has a festival now. You worry about your Tigray festival and we Eritreans will focus on our own festivals. Don't pretend like you are an Eritrean when you smell like an Agame. We can smell Agames from a mile away. Capiche Gereanenya?

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  16. Grazie to you bro..is just a fact and is beautiful

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  17. Bereket is an agent of the regime and will write disinformation...the reality is as follow....


    Eritrean officials cancelled their plan to attend the festival they
    were hosting in Sweden when Swedish officials informed them on 24 July
    that they could not accommodate their request to meet with senior
    Swedish officials on such short notice.

    Topping the unresolved issues is the case of Eritrean-Swede journalist Dawit Isaak who has been in detention, without charges, since September 2001.

    The Eritrean delegation was keen on attending the festival in Sweden
    as they do every summer because Sweden, until recently, had some of the
    most party-loyal Eritreans in Diaspora.

    Recently a new law that enables Swedish courts to persecute crimes
    committed elsewhere was put into effect. On the same day that the law
    was passed, a Swedish law firm reported President Isaias Afwerki and several of his ministers to the Swedish authorities for violation of human rights including torture.

    In keeping with the Eritrean regimes representatives’ new tradition of traveling in secret, the Eritrean officials secured
    Italian visa so that they can fly in to Sweden without alerting the
    Eritrean opposition of their arrival. The “visa policy of the Schengen
    Area” permits almost all visitors to travel across EU states with a
    single entry visa issued by any of the member states.

    Coming on the heels
    of the disastrous festival in Bologna, Italy and the cancellation of
    the festival in Giessen, Germany, the Sweden festival was supposed to
    showcase the Eritrean regime’s stronghold of the Eritrean Diaspora.

    The YPFDJ-influenced festival had nothing to offer apart from an
    overdose of fashion show, something totally unrelated to Eritrea. Out of
    12 sets of images displayed about the festival, almost three quarters
    was related to the fashion show. Even the festival’s official website
    shows last year’s images where the Eritrean foreign minister attended.

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  18. Wonderful footage from Toronto Festival. Enjoy.

    http://vimeo.com/102837990

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  19. Gemel thanks for the info.

    You said, "The YPFDJ-influenced festival had nothing to offer apart from an
    overdose of fashion show, something totally unrelated to Eritrea."

    What a shame and waste of time. This fashion show is not Eri Culture.
    Eritreans time and money should be spent in productive and useful activities that improves their life and the life of eritreans at home and in diaspora.
    So what Bereket said is totally false, He said,
    "One of the goals of the festival has always been to introduce Eri culture to wider audiences as well as youth born and raised in diaspora."
    WHO POCKETS THE MONEY GENERATED FROM THE FESTIVAL? AN INQUIRING MIND WANTS TO KNOW.

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  20. Yerdae'kum Agame Lemani.

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  21. They tried to create Abay Tigray over a decade ago and failed miserably.

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  22. There sure was ! & it was jumping and rocked!

    The guest/stars include ...
    Adam lambert, christin bell, will/jeda smith, BONO, MICHAl jackson, maddona, the entire we are the world cast you name them, they were here!

    God bless mama tigrai & miliman zeyhilelom anabis deka!

    Tigray welela khulo
    Metry limano ! Elilililil :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. ress in Eritrea means more festivals and festivals while our people inside Eritrea are suffering and their lives are becoming miserable and miserable from day to day. In the last 23 years the lawless, unproductive and heinous leadership of the mafia PFDJ group (People's Front for Destruction and Jailing) is unable to provide our people with the basic necessities and the fools are celebrating fake festivals.
    May god have mercy upon our beloved country and people.

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  24. Progress in Eritrea......

    ReplyDelete
  25. Unity -- maHber andinet ( the dream of the inferiority complex of the halfhearted indivisuals)
    NO W A Y !!!!!
    Eritrea by Eritreans and for Eritreans !

    ReplyDelete
  26. If it does not work like your wishes you know the bottle neck behind, right? isepa/qey shibr/gero Tebi/HIS MODERN NAME IS - WOYANAY tgraway !!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Jumbo,
    Do you have the capability to explain what Abay Tigray means? What was tried and failed a decade ago? just curious!

    ReplyDelete
  28. TRUTH HURTS DOESN'T IT. REMEMBER ONLY THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE. IF YOU ARE NOT FREE BY DEFINITION YOU ARE A SLAVE. Those who don't seek and pursue the truth and live by it are forever condemned to a LIFE OF SLAVERY.
    My time is very valuable. TIME IS GOLD/MONEY. Before I spend time and money to go to the location of the festival, I want to know what is going at the festival. I want to know if the program at the Festival is worth my precious time and hard earned money.
    I am a human. So, I don't claim to know everything. I asked the questions b/c I don't know the answer. DO YOU KNOW EVERYTHING THAT PERTAINS TO ERI AND ERITREANS? Are you saying that every Eritrean knows what the BUDGET OF THE FESTIVAL COMMITTEE IS, WHAT THEIR BALANCE ACCOUNT IS, IF THE LEADERS ARE ELECTED AND WHERE THE PROFIT OF THE FESTIVAL GOES? I bet you even yourself don't have a freaking idea. IF SO, ANSWER THE QUESTION. IF YOU DON'T ANSWER THE QUESTIONS, IT IS UNDISPUTABLE PROVE THAT YOU ARE CLUELESSS AND BY YOUR OWN DEFINITION YOU ARE NOT ERITREAN.
    My fear is that some of the money generated from Eri Festival goes to the TERRORISTS, CRIMINALS and DEMENTED DICTATORS of Eri leadership. I don't want a single cent of my money to go to DICTATORS.
    My second fear is that the festival is going to be waste of my time and money as long as MOST OF THE FESTIVAL'S PROGRAM IS DANCING/MUSIC AND FASHION SHOW at the expense of EDUCATIONAL/MENTORING ACTIVITIES, PROFESSIONAL/EDUCATIONAL/BUSINESS NETWORKING, COMMUNITY/BUSINESS BUILDING, AND GENUINE CULTURAL AND LANGUAGE EDUCATION OF KIDS BORN OR RAISED IN DIASPORA. I have nothing against dancing/music and even fashion. However, it should comprise a small portion of the festival.

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  29. Andinet Mis Ethiopi;
    Nice try to be sugar coated poison. What did you say? No reason to have this level of animosity...ZiAkhilen Tihinen Si BaAle Mariam Yibla. After you destroyed martyries cemetery do you expect us to feed you honey and butter. Hell no. If you are really a bonafide Eritrea go and enjoy the festival and you can have the whole picture of the festival instead of gathering info from a third party.

    ReplyDelete
  30. "TRUTH HURTS DOESN'T IT. "

    1) What truth are you talking about? What truth did you speak? 2) How can you generalize about truth like you did? It depends on the context. For example, You, "unity" are a Weyane. Does it hurt? Here is another example: The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently reported that the health status of Eritreans has improved considerably. This truth makes me happy, but since you are interested in the ousting of the Eritrean government, such reports are not to your liking because it would show that the people have no reason to rise against their own government. In this case the truth hurts!

    REMEMBER ONLY THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE. IF
    YOU ARE NOT FREE BY DEFINITION YOU ARE A SLAVE.

    Now wait a minute. Don't just repeat what you heard being said. The context in which this was said has nothing to do with the type of topic you and I are talking about. "The truth shall set you free" was uttered first by Jesus Christ. The "Truth" He is talking about is Himself--Jesus Christ.

    "Those who don't seek and
    pursue the truth and live by it are forever condemned to a LIFE OF
    SLAVERY." In the context I just explained this is true all the time. It all depends if you believe in Him.

    In other contexts, it may depend on the context and on your conscience. I wonder how it would feel to collaborate with the enemy that wants to destroy your country, the one your ancestors passed to you, the one in which you grew up, the one in which your relatives and friends still live in, the one for which thousands died, lost their body parts, spent all their productive life fighting for its independence and now sovereignty, . . . FEELS like?

    Unlike you, I do not need to know all the things you listed to go to an Eritrean festival. I have confidence in the organizers and yes, in the government. If there is left-over money and the government takes it, I would be glad they got it! I know it will be put to GOOD USE. Besides, like you, I do not have time to follow where the money went. The organizing committees do report to their respective communities and the governments of the countries in which the festivals take place do get reports for tax purposes (even if they are exempted from taxes, in the US, for example) especially now that you Weyanes and your Eritrean lackeys have managed to put it up to scrutiny.

    TERRORIST: You Weyanes like labeling everything as terrorist. You do not seriously mean that! You might think that this will make your argument heavy. Everyone calls the ones they want to stop, terrorist--especially the Weyane. The Eritrean government is not a terrorist government. No one has said that, not even the UN. Go and read any document you want.

    Stop the pretext. You do not want to go because you are a Weyane. Your aim is just to discourage Eritreans from mixing with their people--as if anyone would listen to you. It is also OK if you cannot go or you have no appetite for such a thing. I wonder how long you have been living abroad. Music and dancing are not the only things that go on a festival. Do you even read reports on such events? One would think it would interest you, if you were Eritrean!

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  31. You are unable to answer none of my questions. Moreover you said, "Unlike you, I don't need to know all the things you listed to go to an Eri Festival. You don't want to know and you would rather of be ignorant of what the festival is all about, who run it and whether or not its leaders are doing a good job, corrupt or use the money for personal gain. IGNORANCE IS A BLISS. YES INDEED.

    Regarding Terrorism, both DIA( Dictator Issais and Weyane ethio leadership are both TERRORIST. PERIOD. The word terrorism comes from the French word Terrorisme and originally in the late 1700 around the time of the French revolution referred specifically to STATE TERROISM LIKE IN THE STATE OF ERI AND ETHIO.
    The French word Terrorisme in turn derives from LatIn verb meaning "I FRIGHTEN" Therefore to Terrorize is to FRIGHTEN. Thus, a TERRORIST ONE THAT FRIGHTEN OTHERS.
    DIDN'T THE ERI GOV JAIL ALL THOSE WHO OPERATED PRIVATE MEDIA? YES
    DIDN'T THE ERI GOV JAIL ALL THOSE WHO CRITICIZED ITS RULE? YES
    DOESN'T THE ERI GOV TERRORIZES/FRIGHTENS ERI PEOPLE FROM EVER DARING TO OPENLY CRITICIZE THE GOV, OPERATING PRIVATE MEDIA, OPERATE A COMPETING POLITAL PARTY, ETC ETC? YES.
    The preponderance of the evidence proves undisputably without a doubt that ERI GOV IS INDEED A TERRORIST GOV. CASE CLOSED.

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  32. My response to you was deleted.
    MY POST WERE DELETED TWO TIMES. I AM AGAINST ERI AND WEYANE REGIME. I BELIEVE THE ADMINSTRATOR IS ERI GOV AGENT. MY POSTS ARE DELETED B/C I EXPOSE THE CRIMES COMMITTED BY ERI GOV. PERIOD. IT IS A WASTE OF MY TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS FORUM. I ALSO BELIEVE IT IS A WASTE OF TIME FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN SEARCH OF TRUTH, PEACE, PROGRESS AND JUSTICE. THIS WEBSITE IS GOV OF ERI PROPOGANDA MOUTHPIECE.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Good Riddance! Don't come here. Go to an Agame website where your agame comments belong.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Well said, thank you very much.

    ReplyDelete

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