Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the country with the highest density of UNESCO world heritage sites in Africa. Most notable are ruins of Axum and remains of early Christian civilization.

63 different ethnic groups are living in relative peace in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is surrounded by problematic countries. In the north, there is “a cease-fire” conflict with Eritrea. To the east, there is the African basket-case of Somalia. On its long western border, there is the ongoing conflict in the Sudan. Despite all those “external” conflicts and despite its ethnic diversity within its borders, Ethiopia is relatively stable internally.

There are more than 31 endemic species living in Ethiopia.

The Ras Deshen (4453 m) is the highest peak in Ethiopia, and 4th largest in Africa.

85% of Nile water comes from Ethiopian highlands, which receive most of their rainfall during the summer months.

Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic state with an extreme variety of languages spoken in the country, of which there are 83 with about 200 dialects. The main three are Amharic (the national language of the country), Tigrigna and Oromigna. English is also a widely spoken language.

Ethiopia still retains the Julian Calendar, in which the year is divided into 12 months of 30 days each, and a 13th month of five days and six days during the leap year. The Ethiopian Calendar is almost eight years behind the Gregorian calendar.

Ethiopia has an elevated central plateau varying in height between 2,000 and 3,000 meters. In the north and in the center of the country, there are some 25 mountains whose peaks rise over 4000 meters.

There are two seasons in Ethiopia: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September.

Christianity and Islam are the two main religions in Ethiopia (63% and 34% of total population respectively), other religions making up the rest. Most of the Christians belong to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (44% of total population). While visiting Churches, shoes must be removed before entering. Smoking near a church is also prohibited. Only priests are allowed to enter the Holy of Holies where the 'TABOT'- replica of the Ark of the Covenant is kept.

Ethiopian cuisine lies at the intersection of many different cultures. The most typical and common dish is Wot, a hot spicy stew of meat or vegetables, prepared with a blend of chillie powder (Berbere). It is made with chicken, and served with a traditional pancake made from a fermented Teff flour liquid mixture called Injera. Tela is a widely spread beer in Ethiopia. Katikala is a local distillated liquor. In wines, the most notable are fine reds Dukam, Gouder and sweeter Axumite, dry white wine Crystals and the famous honey wine, called Tej.

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ETHIOPIA OVERVIEW

Ethiopian flag

Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country situated in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Sudan to the west, Kenya to the south, Somalia to the east and Djibouti to the northeast. Its size is 1,100,000 km2 and the population is estimated over 79 million, over 50 per cent are under 20 years old. The average number of inhabitants per square kilometer is 49. Capital of Ethiopia is Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world and Africa's second-most populous nation. Ethiopia has yielded some of humanity's oldest traces, making the area a primary factor in the origin and developmental history of humanity, with recent studies claiming the vicinity of present-day Addis Ababa as the point from which human beings migrated around the world.

 
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