This an acoount of a Japanese lady who has been on a visit to Ethiopia for slightly over a month when Herald people interviewed her. She shared to us her experience during her stay here in the Addis Ababa the excerpt of which follows:
HERALD- Would you, in short, tell us about your life and your background, please?
BERBERICH- My full name is Yuko Berberich from Japan. I was born in February 1955. Previously, I was a classical ballet dancer, the profession which I started when I was only six Years old. When I came here, I was attracted by the traditional dances of Ethiopia which I really love very much.
I am a member of Family World Federation for Peace. I always think about the global family, world peace and world harmony. I came here trying to bring about cultural exchange among the Ethiopian and the Japanese people.
Near the end of the tenth century CE an Agew (Agau) leader called Yodit (Gudit or Judith) brought the thousand–year predominance of the Aksumite kingship to a conclusion. She conquered their last king and attempted to exterminate the Christian religion. In Abyssinian traditional tales, she is known to be a great annihilator of churches contested only by Ahmed Gran (Grañ) some six centuries later.
Aksum’s foundation is suggested to be as early as 300 BCE. Very little is known of the time period between the mid-first millennium of BCE to the beginning of Aksum’s flourish, thought to be around the first century CE. There is little in common between the Aksumites and the earlier pre-Aksumite civilizations (Munro-Hay 1991, 4).
The Aksumite kingdom was located in the northern province of Tigray and there it remained the capital of Ethiopia until the seventh century CE. Aksum owes its prosperity to its location. The Blue Nile basin and the Afar depression are both within a close proximity of Aksum. The former is rich of gold and the latter of salt: both materials having a highly important use to the Aksumites. Aksum was also within an accessible distance to the port of Adulis, on the coast of the Red Sea, hence maintaining trade relations with other nations, such as Egypt, India, and Arabia. Aksum’s ‘fertile’ and ‘well-watered’ location produced enough food for its population as well as its exotic animals, such as elephants and rhinoceros (Pankhurst 1998, 22-3).
Most marriages among the Sodo Gurages are arranged. The parents shape and control the lives of their children, not just up to a certain age, but until the children are married and leave the parental home. They sit as counselors, judges and executors of their children’s interests. They choose, accept or refuse a spouse as they see fit.
Meskel (finding of the true cross) is a grand festival among the Sodo Gurage’s, which is lavishly celebrated and is called Adabna by the local people. Beginning Meskel until the seventh day, girls and boys sing and dance to the greatest of their happiness. It is on this occasion that the boy casts his eyes on the one that cleft his heart and whom he intends to be his future spouse. He follows her ins and outs and searches for her residential area.
Ethiopian Orthodox church is the oldest of all Eastern Christianities (although Armenians would argue it). There are at least three separate bodies of Tawahedo church with their own administrations in Addis Ababa, Jerusalem and North America (also in Jamaica and Europe). Sometimes Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahedo Church is called Coptic, which is due to the fact that till the early fifties the head of Ethiopian church was selected in Alexandria, Egypt and this tradition was changed under Haile Sellassie. Before the revolution the numbers of Ethiopian clergy were big, since Orthodoxy is usually very vested in monastic order. They say that during the Red Terror (1975-78) over 200 thousands monks were executed in Ethiopia.
Queen of Sheba's Visit to King Solomon
Sheba is believed to have been Queen of Ethiopia and it is through her Ethiopian rulers claim royalty through her. The verses below refer to Sheba's visit to King Solomon in Isreal. The tale is retold in The Second Book of Chronicles, 8:18 (Pankhurst 16):
1 Kings 10, 1-13
 And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.
 And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.
Lalibela (c.1185-1225) is the most well known and marveled of all the Zagwe kings. He is credited for building the eleven famous rock-hewn churches in his capital city, known originally as Roha but renamed as Lalibela after his death (Prouty and Eugene 115-6). However, it should be stressed that Lalibela wasn’t the first to build rock-hewn churches; churches that date two centuries earlier were constructed in Tigray (Pankhurst 49).
Lalibela’s life is full of legends. It is believed that upon his birth, he was surrounded by a cloud of bees. Hence, his mother gave him the name Lalibela, which means, “the bees recognizes his sovereignty.” Also according to legend, he was commanded by God “to build ten monolithic churches (Henze 51).”