The days on the long road of one families Ethiopian Adoption

This blog started out as a way to record the twists, turns, highs and lows in my families journey to adopt siblings from Ethiopia. Now our children are home and we have just finished celebrating our first year as a family.

I'm Kimberly (or Fendesha), an adventurous person who aspires to be a vagabond- but for now- I spend all of my free time travelling and my down time thinking of travelling. I'm a mom of 3 (the oldest being my gorgeous canine companion), a IT project manager, and on occasion I find myself the primary writer of this blog.


Happy Reading and thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cultural impact of Ethiopian vital statistics bill in a non-birthday Culture

In our culture age is such an important aspect of our lives we can hardly imagine not knowing when the actual date of our birth is. We celebrate the passing of birthdays with in our family similar to other national holidays. I find myself pondering the civil registration and vital statistics bill introduced to the floor by the Ministry of Capacity building and wonder-what the cultural impact on the nation would be.
We in a highly developed nation know that vital statistics would be fantastic for supplying aid and infrastructure planning-but this bill is being introduced in Addis where celebrating birthdays is widely accepted and a part of their more modernized lifestyle.  What would the impact on the average rural Ethiopian be (remember-the majority of Ethiopian population is not in Addis)?

Would there be new offices built in the rural areas-would there be tax implications-would people feel more like "big brother is watching"...there are these fear factors for some, but mostly- I sit here with a grin on my face and simply consider the cultural pros and cons.  (a pro for the adoption world- actual birth certificates).

I think of the farmer-with is 10 children- celebrating the births of his/her children-with a huge grin-The image I have is an older candle lit in the middle of a piece of injera or a false banana like kocho or enset (laugh) sitting in the middle of the table- and the family and neighbors singing their local dialect of Happy Birthday with big grins.  I can't help but smile at this image-laugh.  How would one feel when they know their actual age and then also know the life expectancy in the area they life in? How would being young and getting older change-after all you are now "measuring your life".   How would the woman, who in most of Ethiopia, does not tell her age to anyone-now feel-about everyone on her marriage, death, and birthing knowing her actual age-laugh.  

http://www.addisfortune.com/Bill%20to%20Require%20Documentation%20of%20Births,%20Marriages,%20More.htm

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