Monthly Archives: February 2015

Father tongue

When it came to realising her dream of preserving the once-banned East African language Oromo, Toltu Tufa didn’t need to look any further than her dad, Abdu Tufa, for inspiration.

NOBLE Park’s Toltu Tufa had a dream to write a children’s book in her father’s native African language of Oromo, which was banned in parts of East Africa until 1991.

10990817_847396531989347_7117920421193829638_nHer initial goal was to raise $ 50,000 through a crowd- funding campaign, but thanks to overwhelming support to save the African language, she ended up raising $124,000.

Now her dream has come to fruition and she has launched a range of educational tools in Oromo, including four textbooks, picture storybooks for preschool children, stickers and flashcards.

Earlier this month she returned to Australia after a book tour of seven cities in seven weeks, visiting communities around the globe who donated largely to her campaign.

Her books have sold out in each of those seven cities and yesterday, at the Melbourne launch of her Oromo range at Springvale Town Hall, Ms Tufa presented awards to those who helped to make her dream a reality.

“There’s so many local people in the city of Greater Dandenong who’ve actually experienced what it feels like to not have their language being spoken,” she said.

“There’s a lot of people who have suffered during the regime who want to pass ( Oromo) on to their children.

“Then there’s a lot of children who are just excited about having something that’s high-quality, colourful and available.”

Ms Tufa said she planned to make cartoons and videogaming in Oromo.

“The whole theory of my work is culturally empowered storytelling,” Ms Tufa said.

“I wanted children to be able to learn about their language in a context they understand, so they have cartoons that look like them and sound like them.”




Aussie educator’s quest to document an African Language

A native African language has been brought to the pages of children’s textbooks for the first time by a Melbourne educator. More than 40 million people speak the Oromo tongue but, until now, it’s been largely passed down by word-of-mouth.



Creating GUYYAA Aadaa Oromoo

by Rundaasaa Asheetee*
SONY DSCAs mortals we all must die. But the Oromummaa we observe in our diverse dances, songs and lyrics is eternal. Looked at without comprehension of this truth, Oromummaa is  a bleak, final and ever changing.
For that reason, creating OROMO CULTURE DAY that will be celebrated as the anniversary of the greatest civilization in human history is very important.  The OROMO CULTRE must be celebrated because it is the foundation of who we are as human beings.  Our culture encompasses everything that we are and it tells our diverse stories. The Habashas have a statue for their kings but we have our culture that has been around ever since humanity began upon the earth. It is our common Oromo statue.

GUYYAA AADAA OROMO will be a 3-days celebration and it starts three days before Irreechaa.  

1. GUYYAA AADAA OROMO officially starts on Friday and finishes on the day Irrechaa begins. 
2. GUYYAA AADAA OROMO is the day of pleasure in which people eat, sing, dance and celebrate all Oromo local culture.

3. One of the greatest elements of GUYYAA AADAA OROMO is that it provides entertainment for all Oromos around the world  and it also gives all Oromos a chance to learn about the true culture of Oromia. This holiday is very important to the Oromo people because it sums up our way of thinking and way of life.
4. During GUYYAA AADAA OROMO celebration day, people will come together virtually from every corner of Oromia to every local towns and cities and dance and have fun.

5. GUYYAA AADAA OROMO is a euphoric event where people dance, sing, party and have an overdose of fun. It allows someone’s true heart to come out and have as much fun as possible.

6. GUYYAA AADAA OROMO is the result of months of preparation. People will eagerly anticipate the start of each year’s GUYYAA AADAA OROMO.

7.GUYYAA AADAA OROMO begins with the blessing of local and national elders or abbaa Gadaa. It is a celebration that will take place all over the place, in the streets and squares, bars,  and all other venues, taking over the whole city of FINFINNEE, Dirreedhowaa, Harar, Balee, Asallaa, Naqamtee, Gimbii, Ambo, Waliso, Adaamaa, Bishooftuu, Mojoo etc.

8. On GUYYAA AADAA OROMO celebration day, street venders sell foods after obtaining license from local officials .

independence-day-celebration-19. During this holiday, Oromo musical bands compose music and sell them, books will be sold, Oromo cultural attires will be available for sell by venders etc.   

10. This holiday will be glamorized via television, radio, websites, Facebook etc 

11. No authority can use this day for propaganda purposes because it is a crazy day where everybody dances, laughs and have fun. 
12. This day will be a living proof of Oromo passion for their culture. It’s free, and everybody’s welcome to participate.
*The writer can be reached at the email:
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