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July and August 2006
Festival Eritrea 2006
 

 

Festival Eritrea - August 1st 2006

 

Today I am early at the Festival Eritrea to make some nice pictures of the women in their houses, without the regular visitors walking in the background. The absence of other visitors also results in a nice opportunity to talk with the individual participants. Some of them are well educated and speak good English and work for the local governments in Agordat, Barentu or Keren.

The Tigre cultural group already started to make music and dance on the zoba Anseba section of the regional display. When I watch them dancing, a man invites me to join them. I accept the invitation, and before I know the group closes the circle around me to honor the tourist not afraid to share their culture and joy. Traditional handicraft is added to the dance to make it complete. And police- and military men join the circle.

The regional sections also display traditional shows, like a Hedareb wedding, including all elements of this wedding (songs, rituals, a camel delivering the bride and two brides maids to the tent of the bridegroom). These and other demonstrations of Eritrea's rich and diverse cultural heritage, make the Festival Eritrea to a significant attraction, both for tourist who want to experience Eritrea without the time consuming travels, and for Eritreans, who are not used to make expeditions in their own country.

When it starts to rain, I visit the exhibitions of the six regions of Eritrea. The Northern Red Sea Region offers a display of its rich marine resources and Massawa historic sites. The Anseba Region shows development plans, historic pictures and agricultural products. The Maekel Region is exhibiting the development of the city of Asmara and other villages. The Southern Red Sea Region shows a small scale model of the Assab Petroleum Refinery, marine resources and traditional Afar clothes. The Gash Barka Region displays all her natural resources, like crops, fruits, leather products, mining industries. 

At the Red Sea Fish Restaurant I meet Selam. She is telling me about her plans to go abroad. I ask her why. "I want to be rich", she says. I tell her that moving abroad is not a guarantee to be rich. But she tells me she will finish her secondary school. And she is sure that if she is educated, she will find a nice job abroad. Selam is a nice looking girl, speaking good English. I guess she will be successful.

When it starts to rain, I shelter in the Rashaida dwelling. I am welcome, as long as I don't make any pictures. The children are challenging me to make their picture, but their father asks me to refrain from making photo's. When the rain stops, I am kindly requested to leave the small tent.

Similar to every other day, there is a performance of cultural groups on one of the main stages, starting around 16:00. Girls of different nationalities in colorful dresses, with beautiful jewelry, and men with spears, swords, sticks or snakes, dance on the rhythm of drums and traditional instruments.

  

Dancing with the Tigre group  at the Zoba Anseba section  - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Dancing with the Tigre group  at the Zoba Anseba section
Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Women of the Nara ethnic group - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Women of the Nara ethnic group - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Tigre musician - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Tigre musician - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Modern Eritrean art - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Modern Eritrean art - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Tigre woman - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Tigre woman - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Eritrean Red Cross - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Eritrean Red Cross - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Traditional Eritrean drinks - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Traditional Eritrean drinks - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Cultural group (Gash Barka) - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Cultural group (Gash Barka) - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Kunama cultural group - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Kunama cultural group - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Tigre singer - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Tigre singer - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Kunama dancer - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Kunama dancer - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Boys selling water-melon - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

Boys selling water-melon - Festival Eritrea 2006 - Expo Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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