Response to ehilina wuha, literally … turned post.. then I cried when writing about emayena abaye

Just read this…. you should know by now that I have no comment. One thing I know tsom is, when we are fasting, we should give the food we don’t eat to those who need it. But tsom also is to refrain from acts of violence, gossip and on and on…okk I have a comment to your post.

I agree with you completely Tiye about not taking what they hear about each other at face value and ignoring it even if it is true. This especially saddens me, it is funny so many things are happening around me that try erase the sweet and beautiful fantasy life I imagine for my self or my children. Papy and Tiye you know what the one thing is and I am not going say more on that matter , but the second has to do with the way I was raised. I grew up in a muslim and christian family. My parents wanted my sister and I  to respect both religions. I enjoyed celebrating Muslim holidays  as well as christian hollidays. My dad is Orthodox christian and my mom is a muslim turned Orthodoxchristian. Actually we were raised to respect every human being and accept them the way they are.

Kes haile nefsachewun yimarina ” egnanetachinin sanawk sewun animermir, yegna hatyat kelelaw endemians weyim endemibelt anawkim” yilu neber.I think it was kes Haile that used to tell us this, any  way the moral of the saying is, before judging people or before labeling them less worthy, we should ask ourselves ” who are we to judge, only the almighty GOd is allowed to do that.”

It is funny though, I don’t remember what the story is but one time I said something about a certain someone ( honestly I don’t remember who it was about) and didnot want to do something with them because they were ” pente”… I will never forget your words Papy,.. ” oh betty I did not know you thought like this”… it went straight through my heart and I felt like I failed you. You made me realize that I don’t practice what I preach. I never told you this but in my heart I promised myself to have atleast tolerance to those different from me to the best of my ability and respect everyone despite our differences. Hope you approve papiye.

Speaking of yemuslim siga, I miss my maternal Grandma, Emaye nefsuan yimarina, she used to always have a fight with my uncles because they fed us ye muslim siga and she used to say  

ere tewu bakachu lijoche zare ke gash kinfu gar endatalugn.” Abdella (Abdiye my uncle) laughs and responds back,  ” emaye, siga eko atibelam, merek merekun new yeminabelat, mereku degmo wuha new, ye muslim aydelem“. I enjoyed her cooking. She makes this amazing misir wot, i miss her shai,  I miss her beso, it was amazing. Truth be told I loved everything she made.

I miss ke Abaye ( My maternal grandfather, an adorable father, grandfather and a beloved brother) gar Mesged (selat maderes), it is funny I stand next to him and do exactly what he does 5 or 6 times a day. I enjoyed siting next to him and listening to stories; I enjoyed taking part in their daily gathering for coffee. In the morning with Abaye and Emaye,  then at 10 o’clock with Abaye, Emaye, emama dinke, Ako, ababa zergaw, emama desta, Emama zenebech, sometimes Tsehay used to come. then at night with Abaye, Emaye, Asiye, Bitiye, ene membere, yobdar, medhanit, tutu, abdiye (when he comes from hawassa), Ahmed and who ever happens to stop by.

Emama dinke used to call me ” werk aferahu”, emama desta used to call me ” Addis arogite ” and I used to respond back “ negere gotite” Ababa zergaw used to give me a kick ” be kezerachew“. Ako used to have cows and I love milk if you remember; and she was funny too. The house is always filled with laughter, and so much incense, sometimes it is hard to make out  anyone in there. I loved eating ashuk, or kolo yebuna kurse.  Abaye, Emaye and Ako were muslims, the others were christians,but they loved each other regardless.  Good times.

I miss Akiste Merem ( ye abaye ihit) who used to come from Asmara, everytime I see her she says, ” yemitifeligiwun awkalew” and she pulls out this mint candies that have chocolate and coffee in them, I loved ye akiste meremin hambasha and her loving laughter. Then there is Agote Siraj ( ye abaye wondim ), I loved braiding his beared, he enjoyed making me happy and as a five year old I enjoyed playing with his beared. Abaye yihen siyay ” aye anbesa siyarej” yil neber.

I used to make Emaye mad running around all over her kitchen…”auzbilahi niseiytan wurejim“…. donot know if this was right, but I used to say this copying her and she laughs or ” ekedekshachewuna beletu meshesha” She was ye fitawrari meshesha lij.  sometimes I think  some of fikir eskemekabir is written based on her story. Her dad disowned her because she loved and married a muslim, she didn’t care about the inheritance she lost, she always said ” I found the best inheritance, which is my children.” 

I loved spending every day at my grandparents house. My aunts Kemeria, Lomiye, Asiye and Bitiye (merima, now mary because she became christian like my mom), Abdella, Ahmed (Mame) and my grandparents.  I never met Kemer and Lomiye because they left Ethiopia before I was born, I met them here in the US, but they were in my life as much as if they were there with us. Asiye was my second momy. Bitiye and I became closer after Asiye left. Bitiye is my friend, my aunt, my mom everything.  Abdella ( Abdiye) used to tell me that I never knew how to say my dad’s name and when asked what my name is, I used to respond ” Bethelehem Minku.” It was funny. And I love it when Abdiye says  ” Itiye kebetun” and I respond ” jib belachew.” He says this when I am running around the house like crazy.

 They call my mom Etiye, so I took that and called her Etiye. But one time Asiye started calling her ” sistu”  and I did that, I remember my mom’s reaction it was funny.  And it is in that crib that I learnt how to write,.. the story goes someting like this as I was told by Asiye. Asiye was studying and I took a pen and paper from her to scribble something, I was like two and half years old, she said, then I wrote and took back the paper for her to see. She states she screamed because I had apparently written the letter ” T”, she didnot believe I had written it so she made me do it again and again and I spent the whole day writing ” T” for everyone one that came to that house which probably is for more than 1o people. You have got to live in that house to know what I mean when I say more than 10 people, because people come and go. Asiye always suggests I marry a guy whose name starts with T, ironic huh,…. ( Tibebe or Tilaye…) I guess it can also be a last name…. hmmm so Mr…I donot know.

 Emaye used to have so many different types of ” Mar ”  in the house and when I ask, she used to say ” kebe ena beke ametulign“ I ask her where are they now?, she points to the darkness underneath her bed and says ” ke algaw sir tegnitewal“.. for so many years I used to kneel and look for kebe ena beke.

The memories, the things I did with my aunts, jumping up and down the sofa because we saw ” ayit“, those stay with me. I thank God I have photographic memory of some events, and I can still remember the smell too. I miss tit meftel with Emaye;  she got me hooked on  Apple and Tiringo.  

Bitiye and I always used to fight, Asiye always wonders how we ended up to be the best of friends. I remember one time I had a fight  with  bitiye and I was running away from her, and she was running after me trying to catch me litikonetitegn,  and I hear my Emaye saying ” erso min lihonu new degmo kehualachew yimiketelutina yemirotut“.. so apparently abaye is running behind biti trying to catch her and let me escape.

Amazing times, I loved how Emaye used to call Abaye ” Erso, Antu…”it would be nice to try that to who ever I will end up marrying. I hate that I never got to say goodbye to Emaye or Abaye  and for that I think I am going to cry for a life time. I cannot stop crying so I have to stop writing now. I love you Abayena  Emaye, may you both rest in peace, Actually may all your  families and friends rest in peace as well. I have learned the true meaning of love through the way you lived. I love you all.

It is funny, I didnot think I would write this much and especially share what my childhood has been. I am the first grandchild, I was spoiled by them in a good way; but I am also the only one that got to spend a lot of time with them than any of my cousins. I grew up with so much love and in turn I hope I am giving it back to eveyone that crosses my path.

Good night my

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. getere
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 21:16:56

    i’ve read some very cool posts here on andthree but this one is very special for me. i keep coming back to it.


  2. Tommy
    Apr 24, 2011 @ 14:03:43

    Many thanks for sharing me this fabulous family experience! Even though I had such a mixed feeling which gave value to love and respect, my weak side took over the soul and made me depressed. Anyways, everything happens with the will of God.

    Finally, my version of “werkaferahu” is “lebo” and I hope u will like that!

    Thank you “lebo”


  3. getere
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 23:40:34

    Good to know how you started liking milk.


  4. tibebe
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 09:47:50

    still in BaDa; trip got postponed.

    eshi Werkaferahu! what’s been happening?

    have you noticed that your post ended with “goodbye my?” a bit mysterious, don’t you think?

    and regarding the last paragraph, i can personally vouch for you being all love.


    • bettiye
      Apr 20, 2011 @ 21:24:47

      Hey no making fun of one of my nick names… Abaye used to call me Hadas, and then some others called me Abichu,.. or I used to be called Baggio and baggiye starting 7th grade, up to 10th grade, then Jonny calls me venetsia,…. and yours truly calls me MONA. Of all of them I love MONA.

      It was ment to be ” Good bye my boys untill next time” but I kept crying and just hit post. You know me…

      I hope by the time you read this you are eating a food prepared by your mom.

      Melkam Fasika to you and Tiye when he reads this..


      • bettiye
        Apr 24, 2011 @ 13:46:04

        more nick names remembered… Tommy calls me Lebo… I laugh at this one. and Eduye calls me Kotetiye, Abiye (my aunt’s husband calls me ) duchuye, Nahom ( my 6 year old nephew and the love of my life) calls me my sweety aunt betty,.. and many more…


  5. tibebe
    Apr 19, 2011 @ 15:15:33

    Now Bettiye, that was a beautiful post about a beautiful family. If a writing came with a soundtrack, then this post’s would be yeGigi “nafekegne”. I want to comment, I wanted to comment on it so bad since yesterday. But what with 2hr long classes, 3hr meetings, not having a decent meal today and what not, I find myself extremely tired. Moreover, since I will be going home tomorrow, there are a couple of things to take care of.

    The point is, even though I will come back with a stronger comment in a matter of days, for now, what i want you to know is yay for the marrying tilaye part and yay for the marrying tibebe part; yays all around.

    But T is such an easy letter to draw; now G is another story.

    I am so tirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrred.

    Melkam Fasika!


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