Word for the Travel Wise (03/04/06)

Without rambling too
much allow me to jump right into today’s word if you will.

Today’s word is a Amharic word used in Ethiopia:

shuruba – plaits tightly
braided to the head and fuzzing out at the shoulders

On my strolls through the streets of
Port-of-Spain I noticed quite a few young girls with the hairstyle described above and worn mostly by the Tigray women
of Ethiopia. Seeing Ethiopia has many different groups of people with distinct traits be it a hairstyle or their attire
I wonder if there is any connection between the young ladies here in Trinidad and those across the water several miles
away? Perhaps it is nothing more than a trendy way to do one’s hair considering Alicia Key’s donned a similar doo not
too far in the past. Might she have been modeling the look of the Tigray?

Amharic is the second most Semitic
language in the world after Arbaic. It is the official working lingo of Ethiopia and spoken in such places as Egypt,
Israel, and Sweden by a number of emigrants. The writing system called abugida is based from the now extinct Ge’ez
language. In addition to Amharic other widely spoken languages in the country include Tigrinya, Somali, and Arabic to
name a few.  Wikipedia has good background information
on the lang if you’re at all interested, but for those ready to dig in here’s a couple of places to learn online.

Ethiopian Restaurant dot com was
kind enough to include some basic Amharic to use while in a restaurant from which I pulled our word for the day. This a
great starter to days of the week, numbers, asking for your bill and other small useful phrases. Listen online to KFAI radio for Amharic broadcast out of Minnesota. Check their schedule for
program times and listen daily as a self-learning tool. African Language has
Amharic software for purchase and Amazon has a number of books for purchase including the Amharic LP

Past Amharic words: qurse