Ethiopia: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

October 31, 2020
Ethiopia: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture (Culture Smart!)

Set in Africa, but not wholly African; an isolated nation, yetreceptive to the outside world; hierarchical and conservative, yetinnovative and desirous of modernity; conformist as a people, andyet fiercely independent as individuals—the Ethiopian identitydefies definition. No sooner have you made a generalisation thanyou realise it does not apply to some other part of the country.This is because Ethiopia was once an empire, made up of manydifferent peoples and cultures.Ethiopia exists simultaneously in different time periods. It hasa long documented history, and is undergoing very great change. Itspeople, when they see something new that might work to theiradvantage, will embrace it and find ways to improve on it. Moderndemocracy, however, has understandably been slower to achieve giventhe strong historical antecedents of it's monarchy.All Ethiopians are proud of their history. They are so proud, infact, that some outsiders see them as arrogant. They are,perversely, also almost proud of the fact that their country wasnot modernized as quickly as other African states with a colonialpast: their freedom is worth more to them than having aninfrastructure for economic development.All these issues and more are explored in this compact CultureSmart! guide. Values, attitudes, daily social life andcommunication are all helpfully unpacked, and advice is given tohelp the discerning traveller, whether student, tourist orbusinessperson, make the most of his or her visit to this rich andcomplex land. Above all, it provides the tools to do so in aconsiderate and sensitive manner.