March 3, 2005
Yesterday was Battle of Adwa Day in Ethiopia. Just in case you don't know:
"The battle of Adwa, in which [poorly armed] Ethiopian forces under Emperor Menelik II united to defeat an invading force of [very well armed] Italian troops, was one of the most significant turning points in the history of modern Africa. It occurred, in 1896, when the "colonial era" was well advanced on the African continent, and it served notice that Africa was not just there "for the taking" by European powers." - Xinhuanet 02/03/05
This was a day off for everyone - except, perhaps not so surprisingly, for those who work at the Italian Embassy in Addis Ababa. I heard last night that even the Ethiopian staff were made to come in. I guess it must be a bit like being English on the 4th of July - or German on VE Day.
The picture is from the Africana Collection in the US Library of Congress. You can tell the Italians are the bad guys because they are painted in profile with only one eye showing. The saintly Ethiopians stare straight out of the canvas with both of their eyes. (Click on it to make it bigger)
Posted by aheavens at March 3, 2005 3:22 AM