We all know that by helping our learners to improve their English skills, we are supporting them to better integrate into the community and settle down in their new home here in the U.S. However – how does their improved English skills impact our own lives?
Metshet offers one answer to this question. Metshet is an LCNV learner who loves sharing stories. As her English skills gradually improve, we are able to learn more about Ethiopia from the stories she tells. From her, we learn about Ethiopia’s rich diversity, unique 13-month calendar, and delicious food made with a special kind of seed called “teff”.
At LCNV, we believe that while our learners improve their English skills, they are also reconnecting with their own culture in a new context. As we go through this process with them, our own eyes are opened to ways of life that we might not otherwise get to experience. From food to festivals or philosophy, when our neighbors are empowered with English literacy, we gain a glimpse of humanity in other places around the world.
“I am from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is located in east Africa and its current population is more than one hundred million people. Seventy percent of the population are youngsters with ages less than 30 years.
Ethiopia is a multi-nationality country with more than 80 ethnic groups all living together. Each ethnic group has its own ethnic language and culture. Some of the cultures are shared in common between each ethnic group.
Among the 80 ethnic groups the Oromo and Amhara are the largest population.
Ethiopia has its own calendar which is different from other countries. The calendar contains 13 months and each month has 30 days except the last month which is 5 days, but every 4 years it has 6 days. The last month represents the leap year. Throughout the year you can see the sun in Ethiopia. Because of this it is known as the 13 months of sunshine.
There are many public holidays in Ethiopia. Among these are Timkat and Meskel which are very unique holidays and are celebrated in all parts of Ethiopia. During Timkat, masses of people march together to Nibour church (orthodox) singing a song thanking the almighty God. During the day, people wear beautiful, colorful dresses and shirts.
Injera and Wat are common traditional Ethipoian foods and are used in all parts of the country. Injera is prepared from a seed called teff. Teff is not common in any other country in the world.”
Each year, LCNV serves 1,500 from over 80 different countries who speak more than 50 different languages. When you support LCNV as a volunteer or donor, you join an effort to create a more diverse, vibrant, and equitable community. Thank you!