Why are individuals fleeing from Ethiopia?
Refugees from many nations live in Ethiopia before being resettled to a third country, like the United States. Currently, Ethiopia is hosting 838,722 refugees and asylum-seekers in refugee camps. The largest groups in Ethiopia are South Sudanese (378,285), Somalis (249,903), and Eritreans (161,398), according to www.refworld.org (a website run by the UNHCR). Children less than 18 years old make up 58% of the refugees and asylum-seekers hosted by Ethiopia.
Primary language(s) in Ethiopia
(Statistics from “The World Factbook” on CIA website)
Religions in Ethiopia
(Statistics from globalreligiousfutures.org)
2.6% Folk Religions
Guidelines for Interacting with Ethiopian Refugees
What are some cultural differences?
- Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christians do not eat meat and dairy products on Wednesdays and Fridays, except for special occasions or holidays.
- Ethiopian Tewahedo Christians, Jews, and Muslims all do not eat pork.
- Traditionally, parents arrange marriages.
What are some resettlement considerations?
- The entire community helps in raising a child, so formal childcare may seem strange to new arrivals. Additionally, they might not be used to having strangers as neighbors.
- Refugees from multiple countries come from Ethiopia, so be prepared for arrivals from other origin countries.
Common Phrases (Amharic)
Welcome: Enkwan dahna mattah(m)/mattas(f)
How are you?: Endamen allah(m)/allas(f)?
Response: Dahna nan
Thank you: Amasagganallahw
Also – a video of greetings in Amharic.
*This collection of information is neither perfect nor comprehensive. Each culture is unique and cultural norms are diverse even among individuals from the same culture. Additionally, the refugees from the following places are diverse, as is easy to see in the guidelines in this report.