GeoAlaska: Theatre & Film
The End of Century and Millennium
I have to write something Esther wouldn't say.
The projects we introduced before will take years to complete. There is a lot of work for our family, for our friends and for the next generation.
In fact, this site is the first step to have such a museum....
What would it take to finish the modest monument in Addis?
Not that simple a task. Why?
Many people in Ethiopia would rather not remember Haile Sellassie. The government and even the church, which was silent throughtout the years of marxist dictatorship and silent now. The Haile Sellassie Family Web taught us a painful lesson. We keep receiving email from many people in many countries. Not from Ethiopians, and not from the members of the family.
Perhaps, it's a part of the story.
We knew it in 1985 during the fundraising for the victims of famine. The resentment. Why? Because Esther had her own agenda? Because she didn't ask for permission? Because she doesn't apologize for her affiliation with H.S.?
Each family has its secrets and problems; it comes with the territory. What kind of family would it be without conflicts? But here is something which goes beyond disagreements, something which doesn't belong to the family anymore. The memory. To remember means to speak. It's an obligation....
I often ask myself -- why do you write about it? Do you spend hours and days doing something which is so far away from you? I think about it and I have my asnwers.
Life is irreversible. Regardless of my personal future, there is something which is even more outside of my control -- my children. They are too young to realize the complexity and mystery of living. Thirty years from now they will discover that many of their problems are rooted in a very deep past. The way we discover our illness (not only gifts) passed on by the ancestors. Maybe, they will understand what I know today. I know why I lost Russia. I think I know why Esther lost Ethiopia. On my Russian Page "Exile" I write about it, about the size of wrongdoing when the bond gets broken. When the amount of debt gets so big that nothing could save relations....
This summer, eighty years after the murder of Romanov's family, Russia gave them a semi-official burial. The Russian patriarch didn't attend the ceremony. No, I don't want to place the guilt trip on individuals, but on the nation at large. Whatever Nicholas did or didn't do, he paid and is still paying the price. What about them, the millions, who do not know that their inability to remember is the core cause of their daily problems? They don't know that their togetherness is based on their mutual troubles, not their treasured past.
With sadness in my heart I see the renewed spirit of Ethiopian pride after the Eritrean invasion. Do they need a war to remember who they are? There are plenty of memories to feel your identity... and Haile Sellassie is to remember if one wants to feel Ethiopian.
I have been watching Ethiopian history in the making for over fifteen years. They follow the pattern of Russian history step by step. What is Russian history for them? What is Russian history for the Russians? They want to have "American" life without making American history into their own matters of heart. They want to take.... and it doesn't work this way in life. You have to give. What to give?
Ethiopia gave the world her son, yes, I'm talking about Haile Sellassie. The world will remember HIM, regardless of intentions of the Ethiopian mind.
The total rejection of the past is a curse of modernity. Russia markets its Imperial past for the tourists. The foreigners are paying for the times which made Russia into a nation to remember. I heard a lot of talk in Addis about developing the tourist industry. Oh, silly souls, it's easy! You value it by yourself and it will be visible for all to see!
Will it take another fifty years for Ethiopia to recognize the role H.S. played in its history? Who knows? Jews had to wait two thousand years to have their state. They are lucky, they remebered the past; many other glorious nations you can find only in history books.
|GUIDE Art Pages Guide Writing: Guide HIM, non-fiction History Guide Traditions Family Guide Front Page History I Writing I Art I Academics HS Foundation News of Our Web Family Tree New Generation Remember Women of the Family Reggae page DEM (fiction) Cooking with Esther History II: War & Exile 1974: Revolution 25 Years Later 19th Century: Menelik Orthodox Church Gifts Time-Tree Africa References eBOOK Alaska Addis'95 Politics Race Page Amharic Glossary Ethiopia Electronic Life Birth of Tafari 1960: Lost Sons Death: 1975 Year 2000 Reference Page HS Award Awards Gallery AwardShow|