Thursday, August 21, 2008

Their Own Words: Ethiopian Assimilation in the US

If you haven't figured it out, the theme I'm on right now, it's the integration of Ethiopian culture into the lives of our children and how it intersects with American and African American culture.

I found this post on the Ethiopian Encyclopedia blog and thought it was interesting. It was based on measure of assimilation: language, culture, traditions.

  • Most first generation Ethiopians can not speak Amharic...probably 1 out of 10
  • Most first generation Ethiopians do not know the history of their country beyond the facts that it was never colonized and that Emperor Haile Selassie ruled in Ethiopia
  • Perhaps 1 out of 6 practice their parents’ religion (many do not because they cannot understand the language)
  • Cultural practices remain alive but its strength are dying. People do not stand up for elders-norr in amharic- but they do offer their seats to them and give them priority when serving food.
  • Within the Ethiopian community their are different ethnic groups. So even those from Ethiopia may or may not share the same language,history, or customs. (*my addition)
Reasons for the speed of assimilation:
  • Ethiopians are spread throughout the United States and lack contact with other Ethiopians.
  • Living in a foreign country requires the ability to speak English for economic survival
  • Ethiopian customs are not required for daily living.
What is important is the ability to identify with and feel at home in the host society. Read more.

1 comment:

trice said...


I'm so happy that someone told me about your blog. It's the best I have seen. It really spoke to me and I think it will be a wonderful resource on my adoption journey.

SBF from Chicago.....take care and congrats on your little boy and girl!!!!!

Original Court Date: April 18, 2009
Final Court Date: May 18, 2009
[607 total days & 165 days w/IAN]