###############################################################

> > > > > Book Column< < < < < <

################################################################


Thursday, December 3, 1992

Today's posting is about Menelik's outlook on the working class of the average Ethiopian.

WORKERS

Menelik ordered the officials throughout Ethiopia to send him his share of craftsmen, blacksmith, brick layers etc. " yej sira awakiwoch". He donated an area in front of the palace where these people settled. To this day, this area is called "Serategna Sefer".

AWAJ

Previously, the blacksmith were called "teyib", the one who weaves, "shemane", the writer, "tenquay", the one who serves in the church, "debtera", the one who produces "tikur and nech" teff that should be respected greater than the throne, "gebere'", the merchant who trades gold, "negade' getaba atabi". You insult the ones who work hard where as the ones with children who know nothing belittle the brave ones. All are created from Adam and Eve. There is no other special creation on this earth.

This problem emanates from your ignorance. Even Adam was told " bela be'afe getseke" (Ge'ez). In the other part of the world, Europe, the who designed cannon, rail road, rifle, on top of other things with the help of God given brilliance, is called an engineer; this type of person is highly appreciated and honored in their society. However, you insult our brave people so much that you hinder Ethiopia from marching towards civilization.

From now on, anyone found insulting my people is insulting me. If you are caught calling names, you will be jailed for one year. If the Balabats in the other part of the country have problems doing so, just send me the trouble maker, and I will deal with him/her personally.

Written January 17,1900

Ke'akbirot Gar,

Theodros