Ethiopian Culture / Ethiopian Identity / Holidays / Immigrant Life / Writing and Reading

Happy SSDD

So, tomorrow is January 7 and if you know that it’s supposed to be Christmas and you’ve already got the doro wot simmering on the stove, then yaaay good for you, but if you’re so lapsed that tomorrow is going to be just another Same Shit Different Day kinda day for you, then this little thing I wrote way back in 2009, all dusted off for the holidays, is for you.

Melkam Be’al, Inkwan Abro Asresan

YOU KNOW YOU’RE A BAD HABESHA WHEN YOU…

  1. fantasize about escaping to a place where there are no habeshas
  2. see an habesha person and couldn’t care less and definitely
  3. don’t point out other habeshas to your friends or
  4. point yourself out as an habesha unless asked, and even then
  5. take a moment before saying where you’re from and
  6. when you do, say the name of the city you currently live in
  7. get mistaken for a Somali, Black American or an Indian and let it slide.
  8. will shoot something the next time you have to hear how Ethiopia was the only African nation to never have been colonized, now that
  9. you are a decade into your immigration process and beginning to wonder if colonization would have been so bad after all, or
  10.  if you have to hear again how Ethiopian women are the most beautiful because
  11.  you’ve known a few ugly ones in your time.
  12.  say what you mean and mean what you say and
  13.  take everyone, including habeshas, at their word.
  14.  don’t let a family committee make your life decisions for you but
  15.  expect them to cremate you when you die.
  16.  your name is actually your name
  17.  your birthday is actually your birthday and in fact,
  18.  you make a big deal about your birthday, every year.
  19.  arrive everywhere on time and
  20.  sometimes, even early.
  21.  get up alone to help yourself to seconds at parties and/or
  22.  eat until you’re actually full.
  23.  people choose to stand up to greet you and you let them.
  24.  put elders in their place when they start lecturing
  25.  or openly disagree with them and
  26.  avoid kissing their knees when you can.
  27.  don’t have an open-door policy at your place where
  28.  you’re perfectly happy to live alone and
  29.  there is no habesha paraphernalia in sight.
  30.  think church denominations are a joke and
  31.  consider converting to Buddhism.
  32.  see therapy as useful
  33.  are pro-choice and
  34.  defend gay rights but
  35.  express no fierce opinions about the “political situation back home” while you
  36.  refill your Starbucks card,
  37.  walk your dog,
  38.  light up a cigarette in public, by daylight, as a female and
  39.  order your own drink at the bar to go with it.
  40.  think the bedroom is there for sexperimenting and
  41.  never understood the big taboo about oral.
  42.  don’t want to get married or have babies but
  43.  would like to adopt someday or maybe
  44.  visit a sperm bank since
  45.  you can’t see yourself ending up with an habesha but
  46.  if you do marry, it’ll be just the two of you and the parents present since
  47.  you hate habesha weddings and
  48.  yes, you definitely plan on taking your ferenj husband’s last name.
  49.  can’t remember the last time you had injera
  50.  are seldom in the mood for it
  51.  and sometimes eat it with a fork and knife.
  52.  barely make a decent shiro but
  53.  on the odd occasion that you do, like to toss in a little soy sauce
  54.  and make your chechebsa with naan, beso with olive oil, and key wot with tofu.
  55.  never transport berebere, shiro, kibe, etc. for yourself or anybody else .
  56.  are a vegetarian.
  57.  don’t like sharing your food
  58.  think ten people eating off the same tray is highly unhygienic.
  59.  want to split the bill.
  60.  believe Ethiopian food originated from India and not  the other way around.
  61.  don’t consider all habeshas to be your automatic brothers and sisters
  62.  whose nosy questions you are obligated to answer and
  63.  the only people you refer to as cousins are your actual cousins.
  64.  don’t personally know any taxi drivers or gas station/parking lot attendants
  65.  try to avoid habesha-driven taxis
  66.  pay the full cost of your gas, parking or taxi ride, coffee, etc.
  67.  never ask for discounts or freebies from habesha salespeople.
  68.  find most habesha music boring and derivative
  69.  use ten-dollar words like “derivative” and
  70.  can spell them.
  71.  don’t have an accent and neither does anyone you know.
  72.  prefer to vacation in places other than Ethiopia because
  73.  you believe there are many countries and cultures worth visiting and knowing.
  74.  have never used toothpaste or perfume as a home remedy for cuts/bruises
  75.  and had no idea that you could.
  76.  your mother never gossiped over buna or spent hours in the kitchen.
  77.  love smelling like wot.
  78.  don’t feel the need to rescue/promote Ethiopia and
  79.  are perfectly happy and comfortable to be happy and comfortable.
  80.  wish habeshas would get over ourselves already because you
  81.  weren’t amused by “you know you’re habesha when”, and
  82.  can think of something I missed.

2 thoughts on “Happy SSDD

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