01 May 2013

Coffee, Culture and CNN

Whenever possible, I never miss my favorite TV programs, one of which is the half hour `Inside Africa' telecast by CNN. Such programs go a long way in changing the wrongly held negative perception among people in general, about Africa. 

This afternoon's program featured immigrants from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia settled in Portland, Oregon. This program was of special interest to me as I worked in Ethiopia in 1982-83.

The program reminded me of the delicious `Injera', an Ethiopian national dish (prepared very much like the South Indian `Dosa') and different brews of Ethiopian coffee (about which I have mentioned in one of my previous posts). I remember how I and Sebastian (Sebastian Perumcheril John), used to be invited by our local friends to their `coffee ceremony'. Sebastian and I taught Chemistry and Physics respectively in a secondary school in Endaselassie, a rural area in the Tigrai region of Ethiopia. We were thankful to Ethiopian coffee and cordiality.

Sebastian and I (wearing a local hat) with a friend's child  
Well coming back to the TV program, it is amazing to see the high level of pride these people from Ethiopia and countries in Africa have for their culture and traditions and to know how they like to keep their traditions sustained in an alien land. (I have seen Indians of Gujarati origin at almost similar attitudinal levels when teaching in South Africa, in the late '80s and early '90s).

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About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a retired K-12 Education Management Professional. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.