14 July 2017

Ethiopia: The Other Sides of Graduation

I had once read a piece which focused on the bad habit of copying all the Western movie styles without caring the local value systems. The writer, who is a friend of mine, has tried to show the reader how Hollywood movies are contaminating African film industry and its culture.

According to the writer, most African movies are obsessed by the West. Despite the fact that movies are means to nurture one's culture, African filmmakers are modelling the technique as well as the culture (both bad and good culture that does not represent African people) of the West in their movies. For these amateur film makers, it is money and fame rather than preserving an age-old African culture which matters the most.

This story has reminded me to reflect my view on miniskirt obsessed graduate girl students from different universities in Ethiopia. It is obvious that graduation day is an important part of life that transfers us into a new chapter. That is why it is given a special place in different section of the society.

Education and graduation are two sides of a coin. In most families, not only is graduation seen as an academic transition but is also considered as a sign of pride to that particular family. No matter where or how a student graduated, they are the pride of the family. That is why; parents do dare spend hundreds and thousands of birr for graduation ceremony.

With some rare exceptions there is no single parent/family that will hesitate to spend thousands of birr to their child graduated. This extravagant graduation ceremony is not only limited to those students who graduated from higher learning institutions, colleges, universities, it is also becoming a culture to celebrate the graduation ceremony of the kids that graduated at KG level.

Graduation ceremony that is backed by unnecessary financial expenditure has a devastating impact for that family. This problem will be exacerbated if there is a problem to get job within the shortest time possible.

The problem associated with celebrating graduation ceremonies with miniskirt is the other problem that I personally noticed. I hope that that you [reader] could take side with me. I don't know when and how graduation and miniskirts have become complimentary. As far as I know, there is no any University or higher learning institute that obliged its graduates to wear miniskirts during their graduation ceremony. However, it has become a norm.

I had recently the chance to attend a graduation ceremony in different universities. During my short stay I was able to witness how locally made clothes (Yehabesha Kemis) were overtaken by miniskirts.

Ethiopia is rich in culture. This culture can be reflected in different forms. The dressing style of different nations, nationalities and peoples of the country is the reflection of this rich culture. However, these days, our culture is threatened by the so called civilization-imported west culture. Miniskirts are the implication of this cultural diffusion and contamination.

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