Ethiopian New Year celebrated in Gateway

INCLUDES VIDEO | Here’s why people were celebrating the Ethiopian New Year in September in outer East Portland at Gateway Discovery Park …

This banner – erected along Gateway Discovery Park in the Hazelwood neighborhood during the Ethiopian New Year Celebrationshows the country’s “national colors”: Green, recalling the land; yellow, standing for peace; and red, representing the sacrifice of those who shed blood in defense of Ethiopia.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

On the very warm afternoon of September 10, those attending the Ethiopian New Year Celebration at Gateway Discovery Park tended to shelter in the shadow of canopies erected along the east edge of the park – and also in the shadow of the Nick Fish Building nearby.

Watching this video, you’ll see what it was like to be at this unique, outer East Portland celebration:

Recorded music was playing, ethnic food was being prepared, and dignitaries were addressing the large group that had assembled for the festival presented by the Oregon Egypt and Ethiopian Organization.

This Ethiopian New Year Celebration is a relaxed event, where families can enjoy a day celebrating this culture.

“We’re happy to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year, and to mobilize our community to engage together and celebrate the New Year – even though we are way far away from Ethiopia, our homeland,” organizer Mesfin Woldemeskeo remarked, as he welcomed us.

“Here, we present our traditional foods, and traditional dancing,” Woldemeskeo told East Portland News. “It’s all about expressing the New Year – letting go of the past, and welcoming the new season with [hopes of] a bright future. . . and wishing [everyone] good fortune for the New Year!”

Dressed in traditional clothing, Mesfin Woldemeskeo and his family welcome guests to the Ethiopian New Year Celebration.

These ladies at the festival were enjoying traditional dishes prepared and served by Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant.

“The very young, the youth, and the old people, as you see, are wearing traditional clothing, which is part of our celebration,” pointed out Woldemeskeo.

“The best thing that can come from this today is for us to show our tradition to other peoples who live and work here, in the community,” Woldemeskeo commented. “That’s why this celebration is open to the public; and we welcome anyone, from any country, to come and see what Ethiopian traditions looks like.”

Serving genuine Ethiopian coffee, here are Jolene Malone, Alyssa Stauffer, and owner Maranatha Kebede, of Yigebe Coffee LLC.

“Oh, yes, and also to introduce our neighbors to our coffee!” Woldemeskeo said with a sly smile. “As you may know, our country is a place of great coffee!”

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

Comments are closed.

© 2005-2023 David F. Ashton East PDX News™. All Rights Reserved.