Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day
The day on which the rights and equality of the Ethiopian nations, nationalities and peoples were fully guaranteed under Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Constitution was 8 December 1994. A decade ago, the House of federation decided to celebrate every 8 December the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day to promote their cultures, lifestyles and other values, and to strengthen their ties. The day was designed to contribute to the effort of creating one political and economic community in the country, and to celebrate it across the country. It has become an engine to boost tourism and investment in the host regions. The Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day affirms the necessity of respect for the fundamental rights of individuals and of the nations and nationalities of the country as well as the development of the country’s various cultures and religions. In fact, this day provides a vital and important demonstration of the strong commitment and respect of the Federal Government and of its peoples for all the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia, and of their individual cultures, territories and modes of life. It also underlines the fact that Ethiopia has been and still is the common home for all. The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia ensures the human and democratic rights of all the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia without exception and it has granted equality and mutual cooperation to them all.
The festival is hosted each year in a different regional state or autonomous city-administrations. In 2012, Bahir Dar (Amhara Region), in 2013, Jigjiga (Somali Regional State), in 2014, Asosa (Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State), and in 2015, Gambela ( Gambela Regional State) hosted the festival. The 11th Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day will be hosted in 2016 in Harar by the Harari Regional State. Each ethnical group is invited to share their culture and creativity, particularly through live performances.
This event is an illustration of the link between the 2003 and the 2005 Convention where intangible heritage is an inspiration for modern and creative performances promoting the diversity of cultural expression. Every year, thousands of people representing all the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia are participating, as well as senior officials. In 2015, the ceremonies were attended by Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn; First Lady Roman Tesfaye; Deputy Prime Minister, Demeke Mekonen and other high-ranking government officials, and members of the diplomatic corps. The celebration was also honoured by the presence of the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, the Guest of Honour.
Creating a country in which its people could live peacefully and in harmony, thereby enabling the nation to realize its vision of creating one economic and political community.
The house of Federation, each Culture and Tourism Regional Bureau and other participating agencies participate financially and in kind.
It´s said to have a great impact on the development of interculturaliry and tolerance.