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Eritrea May 2011
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May 2011
Celebrating Eritrea's
20th Independence Day
 
Congratulations Eritrea
Eritrea - May 24 2009 - 18th Independence Day
20th Independence Day
 

 

Asmara Eritrea May 22 2011

 

I was told to be at the Asmara Palace Hotel at 8:00 in the morning for today's photo shoot, but I should have known better by now. I will drink two of the most expensive Coca Cola's during my stay in Eritrea The wedding guests and attendees appear at 10:45.

The marrying couple, brides maids, best men, and family members pose in front of the majestic facade of the Asmara Palace hotel that is standing high on the roadside of Airport Road, just across the Sembel Housing Complex, where we have our apartment.

In a pastry shop not far from the hotel I buy a large family pack of mini pizza's and donuts to share with the guests.

After the pictures everyone is transported to the family house of Hadgembes. The inner yard of the house in Edaga Arbi has been transformed into a well decorated wedding tent.

Since I am shy to ask for a drink, but very thirsty, I decide to find myself a cozy bar for some mineral water (mai gaz) and a double araki. I make the same mistake again: the bill is paid by one of the men in the bar. I decide to invite him to accompany me to the wedding feast.

The guests eat injera in groups. And thin bread made of chick pea flour (kicha atar). I take a little of the injera, and a litte more of the kitcha. "Why don't you eat more?" my companions ask. I am not very hungry and I have to be careful with any food.

A poor young man is trying to start a conversation in Tigrinya. "He wants to be your brother" one of the other guests translates. But my 'brother' does not speak any English, so I guess he will have to find an Eritrean to support him.

In the afternoon and early evening I visit the carnival on the main streets in the center of Asmara. Decorated trailers with dancers and musicians highlight Eritrean traditions, values and patriotism.

I follow the trucks from nearby. Although the public is supposed to stay on the pavement (the Asmara police is keeping an eye on correct behavior), I am allowed to walk on the street and between the trucks for better pictures.

Thousands of Asmarino's are watching the impressive 20th Independence Day parades with pride and joy.

In the evening I return to Edaga Arbi, when the bride and bridegroom are supposed to arrive. There is live musicians. I join the dancing crowd a few times on the rhythmic sounds of the watta and krar.

The musicians give me some hints how to shake my shoulders. I try to imitate their moves, but I cannot control my shoulder muscles like the more experienced Eritrean dancers.

Again it makes me happy to participate actively, and both the guests and the marrying couple appreciate me participating in the celebrations on the dance floor.

The evening and wedding feast as a whole is concluded with champagne, the wedding cake and sparkles. The bride and bridegroom perform their final dance and hand out the small reminders to the guests.

One of the bridesmaids carries a colorful basket, for a last financial donation to the married couple and the cost of the wedding feast.

Just after midnight we return to our Denbe Sembel residence with a taxi.

 

Invitation for the wedding of Terhas and Hedgembes.

Invitation for the wedding of Terhas and Hedgembes.

Invitation for the wedding of Terhas and Hedgembes.

Invitation for the wedding of Terhas and Hedgembes.

 

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in the garden of the Asmara Palace Hotel.

Photo session in front of the Asmara Palace Hotel - Asmara Eritrea.

Photo session in front of the Asmara Palace Hotel - Asmara Eritrea.

Photo session in front of the Asmara Palace Hotel - Asmara Eritrea.

Photo session in front of the Asmara Palace Hotel - Asmara Eritrea.

Tsehaitu, Freweini and Mebrat at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi.

Tsehaitu, Freweini and Mebrat at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi.

Treasurer at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Treasurer at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Serving suwa at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Serving suwa at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Fresh cooking at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Fresh cooking at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Singing women playing a koboro at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Singing women playing a koboro at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Preparations for the Carnival - Medeber Asmara Eritrea.

Preparations for the Carnival - Medeber Asmara Eritrea.

Preparations for the Carnival - Medeber Asmara Eritrea.

Preparations for the Carnival - Medeber Asmara Eritrea.

Preparations for the Carnival - Tegadelti Street Asmara.

Preparations for the Carnival - Tegadelti Street Asmara.

Waiting for the Carnival - Tegadelti Street Asmara.

Waiting for the Carnival - Tegadelti Street Asmara.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Independence Day carnival - Asmara Eritrea.

Traditional coffee at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Traditional coffee at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Priest blessing the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Priest blessing the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Live music at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Live music at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Terhas and Hadgembes - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Terhas and Hadgembes - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Printed wedding banners - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Printed wedding banners - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Enjoying suwa at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Enjoying suwa at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Bride´s maids at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Bride´s maids at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Live music at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Live music at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Dancing women playing the koboro at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Dancing women playing the koboro at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Woman playing the koboro a traditional drum - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Woman playing the koboro a traditional drum - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Dancing women at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Dancing women at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Diner at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Diner at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Dancing women at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Dancing women at the wedding feast - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Sparkling wedding cake - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Sparkling wedding cake - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Champagne! - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Champagne! - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Champagne! - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Champagne! - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Sharing the wedding cake - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Sharing the wedding cake - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Sparkling final of the wedding - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Sparkling final of the wedding - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Collecting contributions for the wedding - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

Collecting contributions for the wedding - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

And a small souvenir for the guests - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

And a small souvenir for the guests - Edaga Arbi Asmara.

 

 
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