One of the stages or forums in which the democratizations process and all-inclusive development engagements concomitantly flourishes is through giving unpaid attentions to citizens such as observing the nations, nationalities and people’s day all over the country. Consequently, for the third time, this historic day will be colorfully commemorated in the early days of the next month.
What is, actually, the significant of the day in relation to blossoming productive democracy in particular and building up the country in line with the government’s development policy in general?
In today’s world, the need for dialogue is increasingly relevant and finely tuned both at national and international levels. It’s sensibly proper to mention in this context that the United Nations strong stand towards dialogue and welcoming relationships from its annual publications titled as- "UN Year of Dialogue among Civilization (2001)".
"Many nations and peoples nurse longstanding memories of historic grievances and cultural slight; only dialogue stands a chance to resolve them-never war or aggressive behavior. Dialogue alone can lead to long term understanding, reconciliation and peace. Dialogue alone brings these clearly into the open, where they may be assessed with full intellectual honesty and deep concern for one another’s merits. Cultural dialogue thus helps to sow the seed of peace."
True; dialogue and all-inclusive understandings are enormously indispensable where there are diversities of cultures and identities. Incidentally, one particularly effective forum for the dialogue, among other things, might be addressing issues of nations, nationalities and peoples in the vast diversity profile.
In this view, the Ethiopian government seems well aware of the quintessence of bringing nations, nationalities and peoples together so that they do learn potentially the cultural tolerance and open-mindedness. The tolerance shown by the Ethiopian nations/nationalities and peoples all the centuries in the face of many challenges, invasions, provocations has bee really wonderful. Many scholars also put forward by saying that the greatest virtue of the Ethiopian culture is its abiding tolerance and respect each other.
The Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day is a remarkable day in which various nations and nationalities would give their genuine promise to stand against poverty and to contribute what they could to assist the country’s effort to bring sustainable development.
The ‘Day’ is as well expected to mutually enriching exchange of culture, experience sharing, and of indigenous knowledge. One of the expected upshots out of the ‘Day’ is that it can inspire all the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia. while the individual from one ethnic group goes back home, it will be initiated to sense a bit about its counterpart’s lifestyle, faith, social structure, level of development, etc and thereby tempted to reflect broad horizon of outlook, depth of tolerance and dynamism. Such an event is absolutely essential to furthering peace, cooperation mutual understandings, instigating for development and prosperity.
Moreover, the celebration is a contributing factor for hardening the unity of people by endorsing collaborations and assuring good governances among different tribes. The concept of human rights and democratic thoughts would also possibly win through citizenships. Contributing in promoting the identities of various nations and nationalities strengthening the relationship among them; it as well introduces the tradition and culture of various nations and nationalities to other people. For sure, it is a meeting point of diverse culture, religion, language, and ways of living; as a result, its extraordinary oneness amidst diversity and variety strike people with wonder. In a nutshell, we can say that the ‘Day’ brigs about unity and cohesion in diversity.
Of course, in the history of Ethiopia, there was not as such a significant incident in which all the ethnic groups of people embrace each other in counter balance. In effect, the event would be a form of interactions leading to building a social solidarity, fabric of humanity and new directions for the future. On behalf of the Ethiopian government, it is a fundamental change to improving governance and citizen participations. In short, the celebration can be taken as a unifying factor among people.
On the other hand, it seems that the Ethiopian government is creating another source of tourism revenue for the country. Evidences show that Ethiopia is one of the best kept secrete countries in the world; many people do not know the rich heritages and historical sites of the country. In many people’s point of view, the celebration of the ‘Day’ is an extraordinary as many nations /nationalities and peoples would come to one place with very vast and fantastic color, dress, etc. reflecting their wonderful cultural pattern.
Hence, the event opens up good opportunities for generating tourism industry, in which the platform attracts a lot of interests in terms of visiting the country; consequently, it transfers the symbolic and aesthetic values of our vibrant cultural resources into economic values by developing cultural tourism projects.
Therefore, we can boost Ethiopia’s image by showing the unique features in a way that Ethiopia is a place of peaceful coexistence of different nations/ nationalities and peoples with much diversified culture of identity and different religions. Likewise, it can be the fantastic model for the rest of the world.
The other good opportunity that is extracted out from the commemoration is that the event does attract the international press attentions. This can, in fact, be considered as a golden forum for promoting and revitalizing the glory of the Ethiopian Renaissance and popularizing the positive image of the country. On the whole, the ‘Day’ brings into being a win-win situation.
Some people, however, would like to go up against the idea of celebrating the nations/ nationalities and people’s day taking the vast diversity as a threat for source of severe conflicts. Their due concern is that such event noticeably unveils the cultural and economic difference among people which finally leads to inevitable conflicts. In their view point, acknowledging the individual rights would engender communal discord. But one thing has to be very clear; such forums are expected to create conducive environment for informing and educating people of different ethnic groups about democratic cultures and values.
For that matter, the preamble of the Constitution is quoted as follow: "we nations, nationalities, and peoples of Ethiopia strongly committed, in full and free exercise of our right to self-determination, to building a political community founded on the rule of law and capable of ensuring a lasting peace guarantying a democratic order, and advancing our economic and social development, firmly convinced that the fulfillment of this objective requires full respect of individual and people’s fundamental freedoms and rights, to live together on the basis of equality an without any sexual, religions or cultural discriminations,.."
Per the above statement of the Constitution, respecting the individual rights ensures the great treasure of preserving diversity keeping the national solidarity. It is when people come to aware about their identities throughout such forums that we can avoid threats of conflicts, disputes; not by simply ignoring the realties. Of Course, as one scholar has said conflict can and perhaps should be accepted as inevitable components of all social and political relations; to be sure, minor conflicts are anticipated under normal circumstances.