Relationship: Child of im/migrant
EOTC Cross Pendant & Amharic Necklace
EOTC Cross Pendant & Amharic Necklace

Growing up, my heritage and religion always played a significant role in both my life at home and my social life. Whether it was my mom waking my brother and me up for church every Sunday at 6 am, or eating Injera for most family meals, I have learned to value where I come from. Having the opportunity to go back home to Ethiopia two summers ago really opened my eyes to not only the difference in lifestyles but also to the importance of religion and traditions. While I was there I got a necklace with my name in Amharic. Ethiopia, a country in the Horn of Eastern Africa, is very diverse ethnically, linguistically, and religiously. There are over 286 different languages spoken by 86 ethnic groups. In my family, most of us have necklaces with our names in Amharic. Mine, ራሄል, my brother’s, ሩፋኤል, and cousins’, ሳሌም & ብሌን, are all precious mementos that will always be dear to my heart. On the other hand, the small rock-cut cross reminds me of my Christian religion. The cross not only represents my family’s cultural identity but the identity of Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christians as a whole. I got this cross in Axum, Ethiopia, one of the holiest cities of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Church. Growing up in the EOTC church, everyone around me wore a cross as a sign and reminder of their beliefs. “Tewahedo,” which means being made one or unified, connects us to our Christian religion. In Ethiopia, there are many different ethnic groups, languages, and religions-all of which have shaped me into who I am today.

Place(s): Ethiopia

– RG

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant