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Ecothiopia Festival in Beer Sheva!

Moran and I have returned from our wedding and honeymoon to Sri Lanka and getting back into the swing of things. The most exciting project on the horizon in the near future is Ecothiopia Festival, taking place in the Kalisher garden and newly planted Bustan. Ecothiopia is a festival that celebrates Ecology and Ethiopian culture. This is the fourth year that the festival has taken place. In years past, there were music and dance performances, not to mention a DJ playing Ethiopian music. In addition, there are artist booths, ecology and environmental booths and different kinds of workshops. This year, we have invited Zvuloon Dubsystem, an Ethiopian reggae band that is starting to become more known around Israel. Here is a link to their YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICUMx5c7XrM&playnext=1&list=PLD00D413D6174C17E&feature=results_main

We are also preparing an exhibit on Urban Agriculture to be featured at the festival. There will be examples of Urban Agriculture all around the world. Festival goers will be able to take a world tour and see all of the innovative and interesting urban agriculture projects that are taking place throughout the world. We will also have a few examples of Urban Agriculture examples that we are building leading up to the Festival. These will include using pallets to create vertical farming systems and grocery shopping carts and burlap sacks. The point is to use everyday objects that you would not ordinarily see in a gardening context and are usually thrown away as waste after one or two uses.

This is the first year that the Beer Sheva municipality is getting involved in the efforts to produce Ecothiopia. Along with Jewish National Fund-USA and the Jewish Agency, the partnerships to make this festival special are growing. This is an opportunity to show off ecological and urban agriculture concepts to the general public. It is also an opportunity to show off the importance of Ethiopian culture within Israeli society. The food, the music, the clothes are all aspects of the Ethiopian culture that many are not familiar with and many expect the Ethiopians to quickly adapt to Israeli culture. Being an immigrant myself, I know this feeling of others expecting you to shrug off what was part of you for such a long portion of your life and to be expected to adapt to the current state of Israeliness. This process is complex and takes time. We want to give the Beer Sheva public an opportunity to see and understand the Ethiopian culture and to come close to see it, hear it, and taste it.

Ecothiopia Festival will take place on May 29th in Beer Sheva at the Kalisher Garden. The address is Kalisher 13 in the Gimel neighborhood. All are welcome and you can even bring a friend. Get ready for an evening of music, food, and fun for the whole family! If you are in Israel or know someone who is, let them know about this unique opportunity to experience Ethiopia in Beer Sheva.

Oh and by the way, Earth’s Promise is in a contest to win 1000 pounds. Please VOTE for Earth’s Promise in this contest. Here’s the link:

http://www.uknif-voteforchange.org/2012/01/10/vote-for-earths-promise/

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