Fichee-Chambalaalla is one of the five Ethiopian heritages registered as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
In his message, the Premier said the festival mainly teaches the essence of sharing, demands good governance, strengthens cooperation, and encourages unity.
During the festival, elders advise the people to work hard, help elderly people, not to cut indigenous trees, care for trees as well as to abstain from begging, stealing and lying.
Above all, Fichee-Chambalaalla has a special place for children and knowledge transfer. The festival is a key moment to passed down existing knowledge from a parent to a child through the narration of elders, he said.
Accordingly, the festival “is a wonderful asset that we should always apply in our home,” the Prime Minister stated.
“We pray with the Sidama people for God to leave the coronavirus, which threatens our world and our country, behind us, and to lead us into the path of prosperity in the New Year,” he said.
“We were all eager to celebrate this year’s Fichee-Chambalaalla colorfully. However, due to the pandemic, we are not able to hold the celebration at the Gudumale square of Hawassa in its original form,” he said.
The Prime Minister appreciated the Sidama elders for the timely message they delivered calling for the celebration to take place at home by taking into account the current global situation.
He finally urged the people to celebrate the festival at their home, taking all measures required to curb COVID-19, including by washing their hands and maintaining physical distance.