A Tigrayan perspective of Tigrai: Is a Tigrayan under the weight of its rich history?

By Romady

I love Tigrai. I am a Tigrayan nationalist. All I think of is Tigrai. And Tigrai is so rich, there is so much to think about that Tigrai offers, it’s mesmerizing. Yes, Tigrai is a land of civilization. A land of Axum, a land that accepted the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as a state religion without the imposition of force. Those who have come to Tigray in good faith continue to be accepted in good faith. Tigrai has space to accept all that’s good in the world. The space to ask and to understand has been always open for ideas that could be convincing enough for the development of our society and forming ties with another. But there has been built so much in thinking through centuries that it is hard to find strains of thought that haven’t been experienced in a certain thought-form in Tigrai. The norms of how to live have been set in Tigrai and we like it.

Our agricultural crop diversity, food diversity be it spiced foods that are preserved for longer than six months without a refrigerator or fermented foods, or our own traditional production of milk products up to the last kind of milk product the milk can give, our cloth production, hairstyles, jewelry are a hallmark of diversity and innovation. This has made it easy for us to have an appreciation for beauty and knowledge that’s diversified. But even more important is the manner in which we set the way we live and the way we have coped to live with nature in good and in bad programming different times of the year for the way we harvest, we worship, we socialize, we marry, we host our guests, and entertain the values we respect. There is an understanding all people have needs that are the minimum they need to live with each other. In Tigrayan culture, it’s believed these needs are the need to form a family, to be productive, to be respected in your society, to respect your society, to advance into being a person of influence through what and how much you contribute to your society, to love and beloved by your relatives, to keep trust with friends and live life in making beautiful memories endowed by so many celebrations where you dress your best, you laugh and talk, where everyone is made to cheer and to congregate in your sorrow and be the shoulder to each other in times of need. These values are deep and have been for a long time passed on by sayings in our language and our manner of thought. We have created our own oasis.

There are different society members who are the keepers of the order of Tigrayans as our elderly, our clergymen, our mothers, our fathers in whose shoes we walk. Tigrai has so much cultural diversity in its land as it has so much order to keep them harmonious cause entertaining diversity isn’t anything new to Tigrayans. You are free to express who you are in shades of Tigrai. We are really gifted in the diversity of thought and yet in the harmony of it and appreciating its beauty. I guess that’s why we can easily diversify our tastes in other cultures, for example, in the love of music as African, Arabic, Indian, English in its many forms, and whatever beat you can bring on. But of course, we love music from Tigrai the best.

Although our traditional economy comes from agriculture, animal husbandry, and bee harvesting and small amount of commerce our prized commodity is the way we create order within the resources we have. Now in a time there is need to build an economy and advance our society in distributing what is necessary for our people industrialization, mining and digital technology and research are what’s to be added on the beautiful norm we as a society have created.  These are all ways to make sure every citizen gets the proper services in mass.  Yes, Tigrai was in a huge strive to get high economic returns so that Tigrai, while preserving Tigrai, can catch up to the race of the world and Tigrai is absolutely capable of that. Tigrayans love for their nation that drives them to make the already Great Tigrai great comes from living life in the sensuality of Tigrai and what Tigrai is to us even before it is advanced in a 21st century way. The other advances are common to every country. Endowed by a long history and social exchange, Tigrai expects to make its advance Tigrayan and her children are more than willing to take Tigrai to the next advancement which is so much easier to amass than the history and culture Tigrayans have amassed through the centuries. We just need to get rights in the world available to any nation for Tigrai and be part of the international system in which we gain and contribute towards it.

In an absolute tragedy of this world, that doesn’t think twice to err, there is a genocide being committed in Tigrai. What’s being done to Tigrayans is savage and appalling , and gut wrenching. More than all else,  the prominent definition of Tigrai is the people of Tigrai that’s Tigrai’s treasure. To those of us that love Tigrai so delicately its a very hard truth to accept. Tigrai the land of brightness is deliberately made to darken. Tigrayans don’t even believe in being lone benefactors. We have deep values and we do believe in working together and taking our fair share. What history and societal ties has given to Tigrai will remain Tigrai’s, it’s impossible to change. It’s silly to change it by killing people, as by killing people you destroy the value you are racing to be an owner of. Instead people should uphold their own history and culture or try to make a good history from now onwards as people. But I believe at the end of the day it’s God’s will that people live or not and we pray to him that he allows us to live, and live as Tegaru. But Tigrai is resilient because it has so much values to protect. The resilience Tegaru have comes not only out of the huge history that they carry but the understanding that human beings are bigger than history and while we respect the past we have to make ourselves in a position to do the right thing in the present and for the future. It’s sourced from our love for each other, for life and for people in general and to do the right thing in our perspective as much as possible. It’s not about history only, for us it’s about what we do now and it should be for everyone. To live as how one deems honorable is a right. So, I am a Tigrayan nationalist and I immensely love Tegaru and Tigrai. May God Bless Tigrai and its people! Yekeniyeley!

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