Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

The People

Most women in Ethiopia wear traditional dresses. For holidays and other important occasions, Ethiopians of the northern and central regions wear traditional white cotton clothing decorated with various designs. Ethiopians generally appreciate others who are humble, honorable, and pleasant. Aggressive, loud, or demanding behavior demonstrates poor character.


relatives and friends often kiss on each cheek. New acquaintances shake hands gently with one or both hands. Ethiopians eat two or three daily meals, depending on their income. Children eat separate from or before their parents, except on holidays or special occasions.


The extended family is strongly patriarchal throughout Ethiopia. Sons usually bring their brides to live with or near their father's family, and three or more generations in the male line frequently live under one roof or in one family compound. Porridge made from corn, barley, oats, or sorghum flour boiled with milk is the most common food in nearly all regions of the country. The porridge is flavored with butter and eaten with a wooden spoon.


Ethiopia's prime minister is head of government and has strong executive authority. A ceremonial president is head of state. In cities, transportation is relatively easy to find and is affordable for the majority of Ethiopians. Taxis, buses, and a train that travels between Addis Ababa and the country of Djibouti are available.