American singer/actress Selena Gomez dating Ethiopian artist The Weeknd, legally named Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, is probably one of the hottest celebrity couples stories right now. Seeing how in love these two seem to be had us reflect back on how it really is to date an Ethiopian guy. Indeed, The Weeknd may have been born in Canada, but however he was raised by his mother and grandmother who were both more traditional.
If Selena wants to take things further with The Weeknd, she’ll probably have to be ready for the following:
1. Speak Amharic.
Amharic is the official language in Ethiopia and Tesfaye’s first language, before English. Selena will probably have to make an effort to speak the language to better communicate with his Mom, grandmother and any of his close family members. Ethiopians in the diaspora still speak Amharic amongst them, and they regularly hold functions to keep in touch.
2. Get used to the smell of shinkurt, berbere and all spices.
Ethiopian cooking includes a lot of spices with strong smells that usually take some time to get used to for an American. Virtually every Ethiopian dish requires at least some onions, and most require a lot of them. Bebere is also indispensable in many Ethiopian recipes. With a deep red paprika color, berbere is a blend of onions, garlic, ginger and other spices. The smell of these spices can linger in the house for many days.
3. Less PDA.
Public demonstration of romantic affection is not that common and not that acceptable in the Ethipian community. People will seriously be weirded out if Selena engaged in some PDA with her boo in front of family and friends like it’s seen all over social media.
4. Celebrate Fasika.
Although The Weeknd is not very religious anymore, he was raised as an Oriental Orthodox Christian. When he was younger his grandmother would take him to an Ethiopian Orthodox church to attend service. Religion can therefore still be a pivotal part of his life. Selena might therefore have to be excited to celebrate Fasika (Ethiopian Easter), arguably the most celebrated Holiday in Ethiopia, where family members and friends travel from faraway to be with their loved ones and celebrate this important holiday among the Christian faithful. Indeed, Selena might need to attend the Fasika feast, which would not feel complete without these famous traditional Ethiopia 4uisines. Celebrating one day in Ethiopia is even a strong probability, as Tesfaye told Vogue that we would love to visit Ethiopia soon.
5. Master the Ethiopian time just in case.
Almost all Ethiopians use a 12-hour clock, with one cycle of 1 to 12 from dawn to dusk, and the other cycle from dusk to dawn. Unlike the convention in most countries, the start of the day is dawn, rather than midnight. Thus, 7:00 AM corresponds to 1:00 in daylight hours in local Ethiopian time. 12:00 noon is 6:00 in daylight hours, and 6:00 PM is 12:00 in local time. The current time convention persists despite inroads of international norms.