Autoethnography of Culture and Diversity Essay

1392 Words 6 Pages
Ethiopia is a country located at the horn of Africa and home to a variety of cultural and linguistically diverse population. Ethiopian history dates back 3000 years and is rich with culture and values. The World Bank (2013) statistics reports Ethiopia as the second densely populated country in Africa as well as the poorest. As such, 38.7% of Ethiopians live below poverty line and the countries per capital income is estimated to be $410 (World Bank, 2013). Still, the Ethiopians are recognized as a friendly and gracious people. In Ethiopia guests are respected and treated well. When an Ethiopian greets others it is with a smile and a warm hand shake. As well they expect to be treated with warmth and respect when they meet
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However for this paper the author will focus on the perceived majority cultural behavior and value exhibited by the Ethiopian people. Respect is a focal value in the Ethiopian culture. Therefore respecting the elderly, respecting others and being a good host to anyone who this author encounters is embedded in the author’s gene. At the same time, the author expects to be treated with respect by friends, family and co-workers.
This value was gained through the observation of the author’s parents and relatives. As a child growing up in an Ethiopian family, the author was expected to serve guests and to assure that guests felt comfortable and at home at the authors home. Giving up bedrooms and sleeping on the couch if need be was an acceptable occurrence at the authors house if a guest needed a bed. Grandparents were showered with love and respect.
A personal testimony to the adaptation of Ethiopian value for this author came when the author’s grandmother came to visit from Ethiopia. On one particular day, the family went to a picnic where the grandmother circled by grandchildren and children was being kissed, hugged and fed by hand. An American bystander who noticed all the attention given to the author’s grandmother called the author to ask if the individual in the center was the families God. When the author replied saying that is the grandmother the bystander appeared startled and walked

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