Interview with M.Chernukhina, Press Attaché of the Embassy of Russia, Addis Ababa
It is obvious that no visitor leaves Ethiopia without appreciating the country’s natural beauty and citizens’ hospitality. Every tourist that stood a chance to visit Ethiopia has been expressing excitement and amusement based on his/her observations. Ethiopia, the land of origin, has many natural gifts and manmade treasures which make it unique from the rest of the world.
A host of foreigners, who had a chance to visit Ethiopia, is always impressed by the hospitality, cultural diversity, religious coexistence and the heroic history of the country. In general, many foreigners have been testifying incredible things about the country.
Today’s witness column’s guest is Maria Chernukhina. She is Press Attaché of the Embassy of Russia, Addis Ababa. Maria is familiar with many of Ethiopia’s cultures and traditions. She had a chance to visit many European and Middle East countries and she finds Ethiopia a very interesting place to stay.
Maria has been in Ethiopia since last September. Approached by The Ethiopian Herald about her previous visit and residence and related issues, she said, she had been in many countries like Turkey, Libya, Italy, France and many others.
As to her, Ethiopia is a charming and curiosity-provoking country. Coming to Ethiopia is a great chance according to Maria. “Before my assignment to Ethiopia, I got the chance to see things around. I had no idea that the country has such interesting features.”
Finding such beautiful and green country in Africa was unthinkable for Maria. But now, she is acquiring a firsthand knowledge about the greenery and beauty of the country, which is beyond her expectation. Maria was a bit afraid a sweltering heat could await her in the country. But, she found Ethiopia’s salubrious climate different from the Sub-Saharan and Northern African countries she had been in.
According to Maria, living in Addis is not challenging. First she had difficulty with her breathing but now she has found things enjoyable.
She reflected, the religious practices in Ethiopia have some commonalities with that of Russia’s. But her country is not religious as Ethiopia due to the pressure the Russian Orthodox Church experienced during the previous days.
In Ethiopia there is language which is used for preaching and praying purposes. Similarly, there is an Old Russia language which Russian Churches use while praying and preaching. The latter is easily understandable for Russian congregants but I notice the one in Ethiopia is a bit difficult for the mass, said Maria.
Besides the languages, the practices of both churches are quite similar, stressed Maria. “The ringing of church bells that attends services really gives much impression and reminds me my country”.
Maria has visited different touristic spots in the country. Now, she has a plan to visit the live volcano of Ertale and the Danakil Depression.
Based on her observation, Maria believes Ethiopia could earn more from tourism but the infrastructure in the country should be improved.
Though there are innumerable tourist attractions in the country, the infrastructure is not that satisfying. Had Ethiopia had better infrastructural facilities the country could be among the top tourist destinations in the world, added Maria.
“Ethiopia has a lot to show to the world because of its landscape, archeological discoveries, religious and cultural practices. In general, Ethiopia is a country endowed with natural gifts, said Maria. “What I want to recommend is, there should be a direct infrastructure to these tourist-magnet areas”.
The majestic landscapes, magnificent mountains with green mantles, nature-exuded flavors remain indelibly printed on my mind. Because I had never found such things in the countries that I visited so far. As a result, Ethiopia is the Gemstone of Africa, Maria told to The Ethiopian Herald.
In addition, Maria loves Ethiopian music patterns especially Ethiopian jazz music. As to her, she is sure not to miss Ethiopian jazz night at Hilton Addis. She is the fan of Ethiopian Jazz King. Mulatu Astatke. According to Maria, she really enjoys Ethiopian music. She is the fan of Teddy Afro from the local vocalist.
Likewise Ethiopia, Russia is a country that accommodates diversity. It has more than one hundred nationalities. All nationalities have their own languages. All the nationalities live harmoniously displaying respect for one another. They are quite autonomous and have their own laws. The same is true with Ethiopians. So, the ancient county Ethiopia is quite similar with Russia, stressed Maria.
“Nowadays, observably globalization is slowly eroding the ancient cultural values in different countries. But I am glad to see that Ethiopia’s culture is still preserved. I encourage Ethiopians to maintain their cultural values and pass them down to the coming generations,” urged Maria.
She added “The country has started reforms since last year. I have observed many Ethiopians have a hope on the change to transform the country. I hope the frontrunners of the reforms will continue to fulfill what their people want from them. I wish that the change brings the better things to Ethiopia.
Finally, I am superbly excited to be in Ethiopia, a country of origins and endowed with natural and man-made tourist if wealth. I hope in the coming future, the country will be one of the most sought-after tourists' destinations, Maria told The Ethiopian Herald.