Habesha pride was on full display through dance, poetry and fashion during CSUN’s 1st annual Habesha Culture Show Friday night inside of the USU Northridge Center.
Organized by CSUN’s Habesha Student Union, comedians Filmon “Gergish” Yohannes and Nathan “Lil Nate” Araya were the hosts and kept the crowd entertained between performances with dating advice and stories that were relevant to the Habesha culture and lifestyle. They also put on a dance contest amongst audience members.
Habesha is a term that many people from Ethiopia use to refer to themselves as.
“The purpose of tonight’s event is to show the culture of Ethiopia through many things like fashion and food,” said Elinor Niguse, 21, a CSUN student who is studying public health and is a member of the Habesha Student Union.
There were cultural dance performances by various universities which included Cal Poly Pomona’s Habesha Unity Group, University of California, Riverside’s Abyssinian Student Union, CSUN’s ASA Dance Team and the Habesha Student Union.
Poetry was provided by CSUN student David Dilin, Lensa Bogale, and Fisseha.
“When I went to Ethiopia, I was very young, and before going there, I didn’t have as much of an appreciation for what I have. Going there and seeing that the people were still so happy living in a third world country situation, I feel like that put things into perspective for me,” said Bogale about the inspiration behind her poem. “I’m so happy to be here to support the Habesha community.”
Various types of Ethiopian influenced fashion styles that ranged from floor-length dresses to t-shirts were displayed by Habesha LA, Meaza, Arada and the Habesha Student Union.
A member the Ethiopia Diaspora Fellowship in L.A. shared with the audience about opportunities to lead, serve and learn with them by traveling to Ethiopia with them. The trip provides various learning experiences, which includes learning how to do digital storytelling. Applications open in March and there are some members of the current class visiting that loved the visit so much that they have no plans on returning.
Dinner was included in the admission price and it featured Ethiopian food that allowed attendees to get a taste of Ethiopia.
“The entire event was entertaining and I am glad that I came because I learned so much about the Habesha culture,” said 20-year-old CSUN history major Tyler Jackson. “I do not have any Ethiopian blood within me, but I enjoy learning about other people’s cultures. My friend was performing tonight and I came to support him, but I am leaving with a deeper understanding of his culture.”