“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” – Mohandas Gandhi
I am an African. I am Ethiopian. I am an Ethiopian – American, first-generation to be exact.
I grew up eating injera, dancing the Eskesta, watching and listening to my parents as they chatted in Amharic and sipped “boona” all of which have aided in creating ME – who I am now – ASTER MENGESHA GUBAY.
Ironically most of my friends ,despite my long last name, overlook my ethnic background and to tell you the truth I am guilty of that as well and until recently I hadn’t really examined myself as an Ethiopian-American or even tried to begin to understand what kind of impact my background could potentially have on my future or life in general.
Ponder this – If one does not know their history, culture, or past – how can one move forward effectively? The lingering thoughts of “who am I” will loom over one’s soul forever until the hunger for knowledge is fed.
Summer of 2009 and Summer of 2010 – these two time periods have been the most influential in me exploring my culture in-depth with out the aid of my parents or other family members – I did it all on my own I’m proud to say 🙂 . June 25 I attended a conference in Washington , DC at Howard University The Ethiopian American Youth Initiative Conference. To say the least – it was a gathering of Ethiopian and non – Ethiopians alike who all had the one common goal of wanting to better and fully harness the potentials of the modern day Ethiopia. Professors, students, entrepreneurs, nonprofit organizations, etc. all received and delivered lessons on Ethiopia. I can truly say this three day conference has forever changed me for the good – I am not sure words can explain, but until they do please take a look at the following links.
Here is an article I wrote before attending the event check it out : http://ethgi.blogspot.com/2010/06/mission-statement-that-acts.html
Also if you would like to get involved : www. ethusa.org and like this group for other updates: http://www.facebook.com/ETHGI
-Astu Mengesha – stay down blazee up.