Ethiopia Ceremony (Living Transform)

Ethiopia Ceremony (Living Transform)

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Hi Guys is Cian!!

The living is about how to utilize resources especially for civilization to develop!  When people lived together, the society formed with people having their own roles to play! Farmers, hunters, patrols, warriors and leaders. However, for culture and tradition to develop longlasting, an agrarian society is a must. Here, we are not going to discuss how important the transformation from a pastoral society to an agrarian society, but will focus on how coffee and living to influence the development of culture, religion, tradition, and values till present! 

Source: afro tourism

Speaking of Ethiopians, especially the ceremony, the coffee ceremony will always the first one pop out in my mind. It takes an hour or more for the ceremony and there are lots of details that we should pay attention to. Before all those details, let us have a brief understanding of how the coffee ceremony looks like!


Source: Advocacy for Oromia

Men will serve the guests, with guests sitting on the three-legged stools while women will be the one prepared the coffee. Green coffee beans (hand-picked from host tree and different from the natural process, only drying the outer skin, pulp and the pectin layer) will be washed to remove the silver skin. At the same time, the charcoals will be heated within the special clay pot. The frankincense will be added to the coals in order to provide the smell! A flat iron disk will be used to roast the beans.


Source: Daily Life Highlights

When the host’s wife keep on stirring, the beans will turn to cinnamon color with the first crack sound represents the cinnamon roast! (That is actually the color of the bean:) ) However, she will remove the beans around the American roast (the golden brown) and grinds the beans into a fine powder (without specific in the grinding size). She will then heat the powders within the clay pot of water till it boils! While extracting the coffee, cardamom and cinnamon will be added. 

After a period of time, the coffee will be poured into three small cups and serve with a spoon of sugar! Sipping is a must for murmuring the appreciation of coffee!! Something that is really uncommon!! (This is like when you eat noodles in Japan, you should eat it with a sip!) The sediment left on the bottom will also be drunk with extra coffee being boils for serving! Therefore, those sediments will be finished! 


Source: The Oromian Economist

Is hard to till whether who planted the first coffee plant as I mentioned in my previous articles (Can read my previous articles here), but discovering the stories behind is more important. There are once a believed that coffee is from the tears of Waaqa. Who is Waaqa? Waaqa is the only GOD in the Horn of Africa back in the past several thousand years ago! 

In the Journey of Coffee: Origin (Ethiopia), once mentioned that there was a strong relationship between the discovery of coffee by Orma! While Orma and his team was traveling, they accidentally discovered the coffee beans with the effect of stimulation. This was especially important for the long-distance journey not only for supporting the long distance walk but also as a food! This is especially true when people have to face reality! This resulted in a story of Harar! This deadly experience is an unforgettable memory for Orma and Oromo people. The effect is stunning and Oromo people could not justify the reason behind. Therefore, the only reason would be to explain with the help of god! Soon, Waaqa appeared and its followers, the waaqeeffatoota. I will consider a milestone as this is the beauty of transformation from living to the tradition of worship and culture!

Source: Buna Qalaa

There is mainly two food from coffee – the coffee ball and the buna qalaa (Slaughtering coffee). Both are fixed with butter but in different ways! It is so interesting that how they come up with this ideas! The coffee ball is made up from the coffee powders with butter in a solid form. The convenient coffee balls are so famous in carrying out for long distance journey to support travelers. The second one will be the Buna qalaa (the slaughtering coffee). This is prepared from the dried coffee berries. The tip will be cut off and then cook with butter like a soup! 

For Oromo people, is impossible to live without coffee! They have to take in coffee in three meals in any forms. This provided lots of ways for them to worship their god! With the mind within the Oromo’s people head, they make a full connection with Waaqa, becoming part of their life – ceremony like what they usually do in daily life. A true transformation from life to the ceremony and becomes part of their tradition and culture till the future! 

Source: Black Material Cultural Project

The coffee ceremony is more than just a ceremony to worship the Waaqa but further, it is part of their life! Coffee has to be consumed every day no matter they are making a drink or take it as a meal.  This is especially important to keep in contact with other family members as well to other relatives. The reason behind is to set up a time for people to communicate with each other!



Source: Alternative Grounds

As a result, metallic kettles nowadays are still not being used by the Ethiopians due to rapid boiling of water. This is not the lifestyle, the flavor behind the coffee ceremony! (Is really true and touching compared to people living in big cities like me from Hong Kong! Pressure, fast forward lifestyle, efficiency, overtime and more. Hong Kongers do not have much time to communicate with people around them. All of their time is used up in making their own living to maintain their basic living standard! Not to mention supporting their own family, people who are married or mortgaging. Lifestyle is something that is too far away for us to talk about and having a spare time understanding people’s around you is kind of impossible. Once I interviewed a coffee supplier asking about a typical day of the farmers in Ethiopia – Harrar, Nik the owner of Acacia Tree Farms said is pretty chill as they wake up and take care of their own coffee trees and the rest of the day is relaxing except the harvesting period! Maybe this is the life we all seek for as life can be so simple! With things you like to do and a healthy family and friends! That is all we need!)

Besides social networking with people around you, the most important reason is for the Elders to pass on the values and their social identity to the next generation! This is where the root comes from! Try to imagine if you lost all of your own traditional values, culture, and history, who are you going to become? You are no one and you didn’t even exist on the earth. The ceremony helps in maintaining and developing the society both culturally and traditionally. 

As I believe, there is always a story behind and stories are how we connect with each other! But this time this is not an end, I would say, for dreams to happen not just hope! I will see you guys in my next article!!



Big thanks to Bula Wayessa for his research in this area!

The song that I was listening while creating! John Pizzarelli

John Paul Pizzarelli, from America, a Jazz and swing musician, singer and composer, grew up in New Jersey. Playing guitar when he was young and performed with Benny Goodman, Les Paul and so on. His father is the most important teacher in his life and released his first solo album I’m Hip (Please Don’t tell my father)!

“I asked myself a couple of questions: ‘How can we take the style we do and communicate it to people who grew up on Gershwin and people who grew up on the Beatles? How do we communicate jazz to the non-jazz listeners?’” an interview from the Wall Street Journal! This is like the communication between coffee lovers and non-lovers! People like me who would like to share the values behind that little beans!


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