Have you ever said, “Happy New Year” in September? Our global mom, Yasuko, has! September 11 is the Ethiopian New Year. In Ethiopia, September 11 is the beginning of a new year.
Now, you might be thinking: why? In Ethiopia, a different calendar is used from the one commonly used in international society. In the Ethiopian calendar, there are actually 13 months, the first 12 of which have 30 days. 30 times 12 equals 360, leaving five days — six days in the leap year — remaining. The first twelfth months each have 30 days. For the 13th month, there are just five days. ‘Beary’ interesting, isn’t it?
Ethiopians also have their own time (clock) system. They call it the Ethiopian Time, which starts at 6:00 am every day. That means six o’clock in the morning for us is 0:00 am for Ethiopians. When our global mom, Yasuko, was working in Ethiopia and said, “See you tomorrow at 8:00,” her staff often asked her, smiling, “8:00 by Ethiopian or international time?” Of course, they knew that she meant international time, but they sometimes teased her. Thus, eight o’clock in the morning for us is 2:00 am for Ethiopians. So, now you know how to count the Ethiopian clock. ‘Beary’ interesting, isn’t it?
Unlike other African countries, Ethiopia has never been colonized by Western countries. Therefore, the people have maintained their own culture and social system. In the world at large, there are different cultures and social systems. We tend to look at another society from our own perspectives, most of which are based on our own cultural values. However, we should keep in mind the wide variety of cultures in the world, and that it is important to respect different cultures and values.
Happy New Year, Ethiopia!
Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
Injera, Ethiopian Traditional Food
Ethiopian New Year’s Card