Summer in Asmara

From: Brhane Woldu <>
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2015 12:22:02 +0300

*By: Berhane Woldu*

Asmara welcomed by morning sun fully raised, the air misted with the aromas
of morning espresso and freshly baked pastries is the right place for “good
times”. Asmara prior to its becoming a city was inhabited by villages;
Semble village is known to have existed from 800 to 400 BC its well
preserved village has now developed as one of Asmara’s suburb.
Archaeologists have stated that Semble’s development indicates as one of
the most important civilization discovered in Africa. Formerly one of the
most magnificent cities of the Italian colony, enlarged between 1890 and
1940 Asmara is the capital, largest city and the political, cultural,
commercial, and industrial center of the nation. Asmara has countless and
often spectacular Art Deco buildings. The Cathedral is evidence of the
specificity of Roman-African civilization. The Jamei al Kulafa,e el
Rashedin Mosque built in 1938 symbolize loyalty to its Islamic origins.
Liberation of Eritrea in 1991 has offered architects rejuvenation in
admirable synthesis of style, rooted in the modernity of their age and
receptive to local heritage. The palm tree lined wide boulevards, sidewalk
cafes and an art deco building with pleasant climate makes Asmara city
heaven on earth.

Numerous memorial and cultural events take place in Asmara. The distinctive
traditional songs, dances, and costumes are the best way to get in touch
with your recent past culture and traditions. The night life in Asmara has
its own charm with a cosmopolitan feel Asmara is a city of energetic
adventure where the combination of commemoration and celebration ensures
that every Diaspora visitor feels that they are having the journey of their

The summer celebrations kick off start in April with Easter followed by
Independence Day welcomed by spectacular fireworks that turn night into
day. Weeks which ensue Independence Day, are ecstatic, jubilant, and
delightful. Carnivals, musical shows, bazaars, and art shows are some of
the highlights of the festivities. There are street dance and musical shows
for two days. The Independence festivity embraced Concerts by National
artists, a German Musical symphony and a musical cultural group from South
Africa in the Art Deco cinemas of Cinema Roma, Cinema Asmara and street
Carnivals at the World known for its edifice and art deco beauty Liberty
Avenue. Asmara stadium was packed by spectators President Isaias Afwerki
gave the annual Independence speech later to be swarmed by young adults who
came to give him hugs and kisses. It was a scene of its own a panorama
never seen elsewhere in the world.

 On Friday June 19th Martyrs day was commemorated. Prayer services were
conducted at St. Michael’s Church and the Al-Khulafae Al-Rashideen Mosque
in honor of Eritrea’s fallen heroines and heroes. The heartfelt and
distinguished event candle lights memorial services was underway with a
majestic noble sense of honor, gratitude and remembrance felt by all
Eritreans. An art exhibition by the renowned artist Gedeye G/ Michel
depicting the barbaric massacres of peaceful citizens in Hazemo region was
displayed and an outdoor cinema was showing the documentary movies
portraying civilian massacres that were committed by Ethiopian army in
Adi-Ibrihim, Adi-Kukei, Megoriab, She’ibgedged, Aliet and 62 other
villages. Different artistic performances and sport events were held in
honor of Martyrs Day. The day is the most profoundly felt day of the year.
It’s a day where bitter sweet sensation dominate the soul of every Eritrean
and reaffirm our resolve to pay the debt owed to our fallen heroes and vow
to build a secure and prosperous nation.

President Isaias Afwerki opened Festival Eritrea 2015 “Hub of Harmony” on 25
th of July to close on August 2nd 2015 at the expo ground in the nation’s
capital Asmara. The festival manifested the cultural, natural wealth,
development and harmonious unison value. It elaborates the endowments of
the Country, developmental work, and expansion of social services in
education, health, infrastructure and clean water supply, advances made in
agro-industry, mining and industrial developments. Villages show casting
the nine ethnic groups which reflected their tradition; each ethnic
exhibiting its traditional tools, folkloric shows and way of life. Passing
the evening hours at the expo ground listing to music, sipping a glass of
wine or beer visiting the different traditional villages with sky full off
bright stars was thrilling.

Asmara city is full of life and activities that surmount and triumph all
challenges; the sport activities that are favored in the nation’s capital
are cycling and football (soccer). Cycling is one of the most admired
sports and is held every Saturday and Sunday morning. People line up the
streets rooting for their teams. Central region soccer league had held
tournament for champion ship of the Central region where The Red Sea team
was the winner. The national Tournament has now started for “Cup of
Eritrea”. August and September were marvelous month where massive crowed
was out on the street to welcome our sport heroines and heroes who made the
Nation victories.

Eastern, Edi Al-Feter, Kudse-Yohannes, Meskele and Edi Al-Adha fall in the
summer celebrated with much fun fair flaunting how tradition and modernity
entwine. Mosques loudspeakers across the city echoing; with the pursuing
intonation of the call to prayer “Allah Wakeber” the faithful dashed to
mosques. Priests shaded by colorful umbrellas convoyed with ceremonial
dances of the priests and spiritual song Mothers ululating, fathers raising
their hands as if to reach the heavens. The two faith consecutively
celebrated Edi Al-Adha and Meskel at the same spot Bahte Meskerem
manifesting respect and love. People move in the direction of the markets
to shop for the different holidays. The streets of Asmara turn into a
market place. Live sheep, goats, and hens sold in the middle of the
streets. The holiday fist with its native dishes offering different
flavors, aromas, textures and all organic demonstrates the best gourmet of
the world.

Seeing Young kids wearing traditional cloth, dancing on the street older
people joining with no concern to age everyone having a great time fills
your heart with pride, give one the opportunity to re-connect with the
recent past of who you are; Full hearted Eritrean. Togetherness, love and
respect are things that make summer in Asmara uniquely loveable. Undeniably
a feeling that you are having the journey of your dream.
Received on Thu Oct 01 2015 - 05:22:02 EDT

Dehai Admin
© Copyright DEHAI-Eritrea OnLine, 1993-2013
All rights reserved