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The Oromos are the largest national group in Ethiopia which belongs to the Cushitic family of the East Africa. Oromos speak their own language Afaan Oromo, The Oromos are known by their hospitality, tolerance, wisdom and proudness of self-identity. The Oromos are categorized among the groups who transfer their knowledge , history, cultural values orally from generation to generation. They started keeping records in their language only two decades ago. The Gada system, the Oromo traditional sociopolitical system, is the most indigenous knowledge that the Oromos invented thousands of years ago, and have retained it by transferring orally from generation to generation. The Oromos have an elaborate genealogy and classification of people which stretches from the Oromo nation to family level. According to the genealogical classification of the Oromo people, the Oromos have two big branches (Dame)the Borana and Barento. The Borana and Barento again branch into 9 major branches. The 9 major branches of the Borana and Barento again branch into a number of sub branches called gosa. This genealogical grouping continues to split further into small family groups. This classification of the Oromo people is the major reason for their cultural diversity which expressed in dressing styles, hair styles, Afaan Oromo dialects and the different life styles of t Oromos in different places. This variety gives attractive colours
Gada is a complex system which embodied the socio-political, religious and economic system and it is also administrative system in which the principles of democracy were implemented in the territories where the Oromo inhabited. Gada system is a system of generation classes that succeed each other every eight years in assuming political, military, judicial, legislative and ritual responsibilities. Each one of the ten active generation classes beyond the three grades has its own internal leadership (adula hayyus) and its own assembly (ya'a). but the leaders of the class becomes the leader of the nation as a whole when their class comes to power in the middle of the life course a stage of life called "Gada" among the Borana, and "Luba" among the central Oromo
The Political system of the Gada System functions depending on gada grade and age-set. Each gada grade class members holds political power for eight years, and handover it to the next gada grade members succeeding one another. Members of each gada members have specific powers to enjoy, and duties and responsibilities to carry out. After the age of 48, the primary role of the ex-Gada officials, known as Yuba, is to give advice on the proper implementation of the Gada laws. According to the social and political organization of the Gada System; any male Oromo individual passes through the age sets, enjoying his rights and discharging his duties and responsibilities. This age set is known as Gada kara which includes the active age sets. Where the age from 48-88 is inactive stage of Gada.
Irreecha is chiefly a thanksgiving festival celebrating the end of the winter and monsoon months in Oromia region in the south-central area of the country. During the months preceding there is cold weather and heavy rains. There is also an increased prevalence of diseases like Malaria which makes it more difficult to visit family and friends.
However, once this period of difficulty comes to an end and the harvest begins, it is marked by this festival of thanks by the locals. The celebration itself commemorates the arrival of Birra (the name for spring in the region) and blessings enjoyed by people over the past year.
Locals dress in traditional costumes and observe Irreecha with dancing, singing, and gathering together with relatives. A big part of the celebration involves going to the lakes around Oromia region and placing cut grass and flowers in the water to give thanks to Waaqa (the local name for God) for good fortune and prosperity over the coming year.
Irreecha is celebrated all over Oromia. However, the biggest single celebration takes place in Bishoftu town about 44km outside of Addis Ababa or Finfine. The capital city itself also recently started playing host to this major celebration after 150 years of being absent from its streets.
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Thank you for visiting the official website of the Oromian Community Association of Northern Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta. Contact us for details about our immigration and settlement services. We’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.
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