Berkeley: Rich African food helps Ethiopians mark Enkutatash

Above: Ethiopians in the Bay Area celebrated Enkutatash at
an outdoor festival at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park on Sunday.

Oakland North
By: Laura Hautala

September 6, 2010 – 4:15 pm

Labor Day might mark the end of summer for some, but in Ethiopia, September means the springtime celebration of a new year. Called Enkutatash, the holiday enticed a crowd of African ex-pats and other curious locals to an outdoor festival at Berkeley’s Civic Center Park this Sunday.

Organized by Oakland’s own Ethiopian Community and Cultural Center (ECCC), the event showcased crafts and clothing, a variety of ethnic foods, and Africa-conscious charitable organizations from around northern California.

Down Center Street, vendors sold an array of Jamaican, Ghanaian and Ethiopian foods. Along with sunny weather and live Reggae music, the wafting blend of cumin and chili peppers helped create a festive mood. People in T-shirts and jeans mingled with traditionally dressed Ethiopian and Sudanese men and women to get a look at the African-themed wares on display.

“This is a non-political, non-religious event – a festival celebrating the new year,” said Ermias Getachew, president of the ECCC. Sunday marked the party’s seventh anniversary. Read more.













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