Traditional Ethiopian fare - spongy injera (bread) and wot (stews).
Image: Ben Healley
Source: Museum Victoria
Over 1500 people enjoyed Ethiopian culture, traditions, performances and cuisine at the Ethiopian Festival at the Immigration Museum on 18 April.
Alan Brough broadcast live from the festival on 774 ABC radio and spoke with many of the performers, including musician Anbessa Gebrehiwot, who played the string instruments kral and masenko, and Eyerusalem Mazo, who presented a traditional coffee ceremony and spoke about its cultural significance.
Addis Tamiru, the first Ethiopian to become an Australian citizen, spoke powerfully about his experience of migration in 1965. The Ethiopian community in Australia was established relatively recently, with the first major wave of migrants arriving during the 1970s when the Derg socialist government assumed power in Ethiopia. This repressive regime forced over half a million refugees to flee the country, with many being accepted in Australia. In the following decades Ethiopians migrated to Australia to escape drought, famine and political persecution.
Victoria is now home to Australia’s largest Ethiopian population. The majority of the population lives in Melbourne’s western suburbs and represent a vibrant mix of cultures, including the Tigray, Oromo, Amhara, and Harari.
Each year, the Immigration Museum presents three community cultural festivals. Later in 2010, the museum will host a Croatian Festival on 27 June and a Brazilian Festival on 14 November.