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May 2009 - Celebrating Eritrea's 18th Independence Day
 
Congratulations Eritrea
Eritrea - May 24 2009 - 18th Independence Day
18th Independence Day
 

 

Asmara Eritrea - May 23 2009

 

In the morning I visit family of my wife in Sembel. After the visit, I stroll through the area. Children are following me, asking me to picture them. "se'alena, se'alena!" I tell them to line up in the middle of the street, and make some pictures. When I have a few words with the neighbors,  I am invited in by one of the Sembel families to drink tea in their house.

I have been invited to join a NGO's Independence Day lunch in the Berhe Aiba Hotel starting at 12:30. It is a buffet lunch in one of the cellars of the hotel.

After the lunch and a few beers I feel free to dance for hours with the employees of the NGO, on the traditional Eritrean music presented by the DJ of the Berhe Aiba nightclub.

It is an experience not easy to forget. Especially I would like to thank Haile for inviting me, and Meheret, who was my inspiration to dance again and again.

Today it is the eve of Independence Day. Asmara's main street is crowded with ten thousands Asmarino's gathering to feast untill midnight. Live bands are playing on the side walks of Harnet Avenue on colorful stages.

Harnet Avenue is one large dance floor, illuminated by light strings, where people dance, or just walk up and down to meet friends and relatives. Bars and cafés are chockfull with people, with no empty seat to find both inside and on their pavements. Stalls sell shoarma, candy floss and small snacks.

At midnight the celebrating crowd counts down from ten to one in Tigrinya. The bells of the cathedral perform an impressive concert with the midnight fireworks. "Yohanna Ertra! Yohanna! Yohanna! Yohanna!", the loudspeakers on Harnet Avenue add to the 18th symphony of Eritrean independence. A proud nation celebrates its hard won independence on the main streets of Asmara, and I am happy to be their guest.

 

Decorated gate of the Sembel household utensils factory - Asmara Eritrea.

Decorated gate of the Sembel household utensils factory - Asmara Eritrea.

Girls selling vegetables - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Girls selling vegetables - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

"Salena, salena!" Local children - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

"Salena, salena!" (picture us) Local children - Sembel Asmara Eritrea.

Berhe Aiba Hotel and night club - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Berhe Aiba Hotel and night club - Airport Road Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day lunch - Berhe Aiba Hotel Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day lunch - Berhe Aiba Hotel Asmara Eritrea.

Dancing at the Independence Day feast - Berhe Aiba Hotel Asmara Eritrea.

Dancing at the Independence Day feast - Berhe Aiba Hotel Asmara Eritrea.

Hans and Meheret - Independence Day Party - Berhe Aiba Hotel Asmara Eritrea.

Hans and Meheret - Independence Day Party
Berhe Aiba Hotel Asmara Eritrea.

Live music at the eve of Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Live music at the eve of Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Live music at the eve of Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Live music at the eve of Independence Day - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Midnight fireworks - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

Midnight fireworks - Harnet Avenue Asmara Eritrea.

 

 
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