In connection with the 22nd Anniversary of Eritrean Independence Day, an exhibition that showcased the developments of the Eritrean armed struggle was opened Monday May 20, 2013 here in the capital.
When Eritrea got its independence 22 years ago I was old enough to understand the monumental nature of the event. I therefore appreciate and value our independence, and know the cost in blood and toil that led to it, and is still being invested for its preservation.But the spirit of Independence Day is not only about Eritrea officially becoming an independent country. Independence for Eritreans has a far deeper meaning and significance than its lay dictionary definition. It’s about the thousands of brave souls who sacrificed their lives. It’s about the people’s resistance to successive colonial oppressions.
Most of us know what KKK stands for, but at the musical concert in Cinema Roma last week these letters evoked a whole lot new meaning: Kunama, Kojack and Kandia.
It’s true the announcer did come up with the most bizarre, but nonetheless appropriate, association of the three initials.
Back to the three K’s. The first of course pertains to the Kunama cultural performance, presented by musical wonders Hayle Nati and Meryam Shawish and the Gash Barka Cultural Troupe. The second is a great guitarist from Congo (DRC) and Kandia is a Kora player from Guinea Conakry.
The mix of the three K’s worked well to deliver a stupendous performance.
Last week, as my friend and I were taking an evening stroll (to my utter reluctance) after a rainy afternoon, we came across a foreigner (presumably a tourist, judging by her backpack and outdoor attire) who was apparently having difficulties obtaining the address of a certain public place from an elderly passerby. We intervened, and offered to show her the way as we were headed on the same direction.
On the way, Ingrid (as her name was) told us that she was a linguist and that has travelled all over the world through her work as a researcher on oral traditions. And even though she was on a vacation to Eritrea with a group, Ingrid said she also wanted to (at least) take a sneak peek at the oral traditions practiced in this “multiethnic country.”
I knew she had done her homework and was well informed because she did bring up the recently inaugurated book of oral traditions in Tigrinya by Solomon Tsehaye. It would probably be an understatement to say she was astounded, when we tried explaining to her what the book was about.
There is this friend of mine who has developed the habit of borrowing books and taking ages to return them. Unless he is reminded several times, he would never return them back; and even when he does, he returns them without reading. My friend and I met in college and back then he had none of these habits. He would return whatever is he had borrowed on the day he promised, but then he would still does the same except in case of books. In those days, whether they were of the subject mattes of his field of study or literary works, he used to devour books as if the sun rise depended on it. But those days are long gone.