Ethiopian Hospitality: Myth or Reality?

By Meron Tekleberhan


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – According to several tourist guides and history books, hospitality is an important element of ‘Ethiopian culture’. The Ethiopian way is said to be one of hospitality and this is accepted as fact by all Ethiopians. In fact this is so widely accepted that suggesting otherwise is sure be be met with a maelstrom of protest. Even so, however, I think it may be helpful to assess if this culture is truly being reflected in the modern culture in urban Ethiopia.


I was forced to raise this question because of several innocent seeming remarks from different foreigners about their disappointment at not having experienced ‘Ethiopian hospitality’ yet. I queried the innocence of these remarks because some of those making them had been in the country as expatriates for several years. Read full story on