Views of Ethiopian artists during their visit in Eritrea

Bonding through Cultural Exchange

“Bartering cultures and skills, keeping the peace alive, is what we need as people” Ethiopian singers As the continuation of the peace process, the cultural exchange between Eritrea and Ethiopia has been on the agenda. The Eritrean Cultural Group made a visit to Ethiopia last summer; similarly, the Ethiopian Cultural Delegation arrived in Asmara on the 16th of December. The delegation, led by Ms. Bizunesh Meseret, State Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, visited Keren, Massawa, and Asmara. We talk to some of the musicians during their visit in Asmara

  • Ms. Bizunesh Meseret, State Minister of Culture and Tourism of Federal Republic of Ethopia

It is a marvelous time to be here in Eritrea. This cultural exchange carries out a deep meaning for both people; it is a chance for them to interact and share experiences. Further, this kind of event has enabled the Eritrean and Ethiopian people to connect. Similarly, the Eritrean Cultural Group visited Ethiopia, and it was one of the times people were able to be together and enjoy the peace that we recently have acquired.
Our time in Eritrea was amazing. One of the most beautiful things and what the Eritreans are adored of is the prodigious hospitality they extend to their guests. Eritreans are filled with love and respect which we have enjoyed to the last everywhere we went. I also would like to thank all the administrators and officials for their unconditional support and all the gifts they have offered us all.
This kind of event is momentous for all the neighboring countries to grow together with peace. Hopefully, we would continue to organize many more events like this in the future.

  • Hamelmal Abate

It is not my first time to be here. I was in Asmara 29 years ago. This feels home to me. I am privileged to be here with my daughter. Eritreans have welcomed us with a warm heart and we all have enjoyed our time in Asmara, Massawa and Keren. I honestly would like to come back again and enjoy the love again. This is only the beginning and I wish that God would help us keep it. Love is better than anything else and I hope that both our people would get to be together and prosper together. We are people with many things alike, and our difference is beautiful.

  • Bruktawit Getahun, better known by her stage name, Betty G.

It is my first time to be in Asmara; I am very excited. I have always bragged about Addis’s weather but I am sad to see that Asmara’s weather is better. I love it. I am overwhelmed because this is something that we have all been waiting for. We have a long history and to enjoy the peace process after all those years makes me emotional. When we work together and we are happy together that is when we can grow as people. I would like to say that this is the time for us to unite and stand together and support both nations. For me I am very excited to be part of this historical event. I am always vouching for peace and harmony and prosperity. This is a beautiful time to be here. I believe that in the future we are going to be great again.

  • Debekulu Tafesse ( Jano Band vocalist)

I believe that this cultural exchange has opened doors for both countries’ musicians to share experiences and work to develop the music industry of the countries. As people we have been away from each other for so long. We have suffered the consequences of war and after war. I say, now, we have to give peace a priority and work to unite together. Not only Eritrea and Ethiopia, but Eastern Africa needs peace. That is the only way we can ensure a peaceful social life and work towards our goals. I call this cultural exchange a time for us to share our cultural diversity and a time for the youth to support each other.
As a band, we have travelled and performed in other neighboring countries which enabled us to know our fans and exchange cultures between us. However, as it is our first time here in Eritrea, we haven’t expected our fans to be this big. We were surprised to see them excited to see us. I don’t have enough words to express the love and support they have given us during our tour. We are grateful.

  • Sileshi Demise AkA Gash Abera

We have been dreaming to come here and perform. The peace process was fortunate for both countries and people. Performing here made me emotional. Being with my Eritrean fans, I could see that they were all happy and I felt their heart. I hope that we can keep this peace and pass it on to the younger generations and prosper together. I wish the best of luck to both people in the future.

  • Rahel Getu