Irreecha Is Inclusive Festival: Scholars

Irreecha festival, which is the annual Oromo people 'Thanksgiving Day' is a culture of inclusivity, according to scholars.

Irreechaa is an annual festival celebrated to mark the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the harvesting season. The festival is observed to thank God for his blessings that the people cherish.

This year’s Irreechaa is being celebrated in Addis Ababa and Bishoftu town of Oromia region.

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In an exclusive interview with ENA, Haramaya University Vice President, Professor Jeylan Woldyie said Irreechaa, which is principally the Oromo culture is a culture of inclusivity.

The festival promotes cultural and moral unity as the Oromo people together with other people of Ethiopia and beyond are able to come together and share values, and understanding.

Due to this, “Irreechaa is the culture of inclusivity. All people irrespective of their place of origin, irrespective of the language, irrespective of their face, are not only included in the celebration but they are embraced.”

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Irreecha festival transcends linguistic, cultural and territorial boundaries; it transcends cultural boundaries he said, adding that all people irrespective of where they come from are united around the principle of peace, mutuality and coexistence which are deeply embedded in the Irreecha culture.

“People coming from all civilizations, all age groups are brought together and allowed to exercise their values, moralities. That’s why we say it's the culture of creativity.”

Associate Professor at the Addis Ababa University Tadesse Jaleta said for his part Irreechaa is an inclusive national festival because it includes all persons coming from different religious, cultural backgrounds or different ages and sex.

“Any person participates in Irreechaa. Irreechaa includes not only human being but also nature. It is a symbol of the combination of nature and the human beings. It is a festival where human beings express a unity to nature and give thanks to God. That's why we say Irreecha is an inclusive national festival,” he stated.

Moreover, he elaborated that the values of Irreechaa are applicable to people of all cultures.

“It is about peace. It's about unity, it's about love. It is about being respectful and being brother with other people. These values are applicable to all people. Irreechaa is useful not only to Oromo but to all nations, and nationalities of the country.”

The festival unites different cultures and brings different people together, Tadesse indicated adding that people from different cultures and languages learn, enjoy and express their beauty with each other.

It is one of the best festivities of Ethiopia where cultural singing and dancing are common.

This grand festival attracts a large number of the Oromo people and people from all parts of the country regardless of age, religion, political affiliations and sex to come together and celebrate the festival with extraordinary love, chanting and unity.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency