Ethiopia’s acting consul general in Istanbul said she would like to see more Turkish people visit her colorful home country and taste “coffee from the land of its origin.”

Etsegenet Yimenu told Anadolu Agency on the occasion of the commemoration of Ethiopian New Year that she wants the capital Addis Ababa to be a favorite tourist destination for ”our brothers and sisters from friendly country Turkey.”

Ethiopia has its own ancient calendar system that has 13 months – 12 months of 30 days and a 13th month having five days that counts six every four years to make up for a leap year. This Sept. 11 ushers in the Ethiopian new year of 2013.

”My personal experience of celebrating the new year in Turkey is very different from my previous ones, as there is no strong community or variety of Ethiopian restaurants,” she told Anadolu Agency in a telephone interview from Istanbul, Turkey’s largest metropolis.

Etsegenet said that typically, New Year’s celebrations in Ethiopia are special occasions, featuring gatherings of family and friends.

”But we can’t do that this year because of COVID-19,” she said, adding that it is also tough to celebrate the new year overseas.

High hopes for year ahead

Asked about her hopes for her home country, she said: ”I wish Ethiopian in 2013 will be the year of peace and prosperity. I wish to see the completion of all short-term tourism projects in different parts of the country.”

She also voiced hoped that the coronavirus pandemic would be gotten under control to “let everyone get back to the life we had before.”

Etsegenet said Turkey and Ethiopia share many similarities, adding that direct flights between the two countries are operated by both the countries’ flagship air carriers, Ethiopian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.

”I wish to see more Turkish people visit my home and taste the coffee from the land of origin,” she added, referring to the legendary discovery of coffee beans’ magical qualities by a goatherd in southwestern Ethiopia about a millennia ago.

The new year celebration is normally a big event in the Horn of Africa country. People are seen shopping for traditional items at markets on Sept. 11 in the Ethiopian calendar, which is seven years behind the Western Gregorian calendar.

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