Timket Opportunity to Cultivate Shared Values, Say Scholars

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Ena January 18/2020 Ethiopian Epiphany creates opportunity for cultivating strong shared values that hold the society together and narrow extreme political views, a scholar noted.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, Arka Abota, a senior lecturer at Addis Ababa University said Ethiopia has these days been witnessing political and ethnic polarizations that must be harmonized by the good cultural traits of the country.

“What I have been observing since 2016 are conflicts and extreme political contradiction,” he stated, adding that “for me this is devastating and promises no future for the future of the nation.”

The lecture noted that Ethiopia is one of the few countries in the world that has preserved its ancient intangible heritages. Of these, Timket (Ethiopian Epiphany) has the potential for numerous social interactions and intercommunication along with the spiritual event.

“I don’t want to see such ritual events only from the spiritual aspects … They create a strong sense of shared values for holding societies together and narrowing extreme political contradictions,” he underscored.

For him, Timket, unlike other celebrations, is a fundamental ritual which is celebrated in the open space and that attracts the society —irrespective of identity.

“As the feast is celebrated outside, it allows the attendance of all — irrespective of ethnic identity, gender, class and status. As a result, the event contributes to shaping national identity rather than ethnicity,” the lecturer argued.

Tourism Expert and Lecturer at Lion Ethiopia Hotel and Tourism College, Aylaew Taye  agrees that Ethiopia needs to use public and religious events effectively to synchronize unwanted views among societies.

 “One thing I can tell you is that the role of religious events like Ethiopian Epiphany could not be underestimated in shaping common values into an inclusive national character,” he noted.

According to the expert, “ Timket has particular activities such as reconciliation, sharing and annual greetings which strengthen the social bondage of citizens and artistic creativity of the society.”

Fanta Beyene of the Authority for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage pointed out that Timket is the symbol of peaceful coexistence and faithfulness towards fellow human beings.

The Ethiopian Epiphany which is going to be celebrated Monday is expected to attract huge number of tourists as it will be observed for the first time after the inscription of the holiday by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage, he stated.  

Timket is one of the most colorful annual celebrations that has been majestically observed by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for more than a millennium on the basis of canonical and Biblical tradition of the church.