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  • Berhan Tecle January 31, 2016

    Without going into much detail in Part 1 of this interview I have touched how during the later period of the federation and after total annexation of Eritrea that Haileselassie’s assimilationist policy was impacting Eritrean identity. Some of it subtle, and most cases deliberate and covert Eritrean names were taking a alien forms. Names such as Andeberhan became “Amde Berhan”, Tesfai became “Tesfaye” and names that have double compound names such as Andemichael Weldegiorgis became “Amde Michael Welde Giorgis”. Westerners may not question why you have four names but would not hesitate to call you “Mr. Giorgis”. Now think of the confusion that arises from this.

    What prompted me to write this comment is the unintentional or rather the innocent use of the letter “K” in my last name. We all know there is no “K” in the Latin alphabet. Thus due to the Italian influence nearly all Eritreans write “Tecle” with “c” not “K”. I might also want to add that the majority of Eritreans who grew up in Ethiopia write it “Tekle”. I am not sure this could be to assert their “amiche” identity.

    The errotion to our culture and identity caused by mass migration and successive colonial influence is something that we have to look at with great concern.

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