Personal Experience when visiting Oromia Cultural Center in Finfinnee!
I was happy that I was able to go back to my beautiful, native country Oromia/Ethiopia!
The trip was pleasant and comfortable, luckily I was sitting beside the Eritrean man on the plane. We were chatting about both countries and he did not know much about Ethiopia, but he has heard a lot about it and he would like to visit it one day.
My trip to Oromia/Ethiopia
I am so blessed and lucky to find see my sisters, brothers, their children and some old friends in my beloved Oromia. Living for a quiet long in a foreign countries, I had a privilege to visit many countries around the world, but I had always my country in mind. I liked and still like so much of the countryside life, I think it is because of I was born and grew up there, as many Oromo children did, who grew up in the countryside taking care of domestic animals.
Although this picture was taken in a foreign country, Sitting under this tree reminds me of Qilxuu in afaan Oromo or warka in Amharic (a wild fig plant found in Ethiopia and Yemn) according to Wikipedia or ficus vasta ( in English).
In some areas it looks like Odaa tree. Where I grew up there was no Odaa tree, but we had abundant amount of Qilxuu trees.
Back to Finfinnee/Oromia
Upon my arrival, I was eager to visit the Oromia Cultural Center located at Laga harree (Laga haar) in Finfinnee
From the start it was not a good day to visit the center, Because there was a meeting at the center’s theaters. We insisted anyway to visit the center, but we had an issue upon entry. Even though the security guards were so busy taking care of everything, they were still so kind to us, and I thank them for that. Once we passed through the security, we walked towards the main entrance. Two men approached us to ask us to pay for entrance fee and we did. We asked for a tourist guide at the door and got that they have one, and no one showed up. So, we insisted for guided again and after some discussions we were assigned to a lady to show us around. As soon as we started the tour, the guide looked unhappy with her role. She started walking fast without answering our questions. First of all, she was not good in Afaan Oromo let alone understanding the culture. According to their own description Oromo culture center built with over 300 million Biirr has been inaugurated and open for research on Oromo language, culture and art. .
To make things worse, when I asked the guide about this artefact: on this left side picture, the guide told me it was Buddena (Biddena)! But I knew she did not know what she was doing. She wondered what kind of person I was (in Amharic). If you cannot speak Afaan Oromo how could you explain the Oromo cultural? She replied that she is learning, I told her but this is not a school why don’t you learn first and then come back to work?
While we were exchanging words with the guide, some foreign tourists came in, who expected explanation the objects in English. However, the guide was explaining for them about exhibition in broken Afaan Oromo, not in English. The foreign tourists ignored her and left the place as quickly as they could.
Inside the compound it looks nice but there is no water for the rest rooms. The smell coming from the place was not pleasant either.
Outside but in the compounds land there were some plants and monuments. From all of it what caught my attention was the fake Odaa tree!
I thought it was natural, but it wasn’t. I could not understand why it couldn’t be a real tree? Oromia including Finfinnee is a fertile land that can grow anything!! Among others, the strangest thing is that under the artificial tree there is Coqorsa (eleusine jaeger) to make it like Irreechaa. I couldn’t have my picture under the Odaa tree. Instead I have one under this small (see below picture) that looks like Rose flower.
I hope next time everything will be corrected !
Thank you for all my family who helped me to make happen this wonderful tour after so many years in foreign country.
What I found out is I still love my country so much after being away from it for so long. My future dream is to go back for good to live there with my beloved relatives and family in peace and harmony. God bless Oromia / Ethiopia and all its people.