Oromo Language and Culture in Multiethnic Towns in Federal Ethiopia: Case Study of Bishoftu Town

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Addis Ababa University


This thesis is assessing the Oromo language and Culture in multiethnic towns in federal Ethiopia, the case of Bishoftu town of Oromia. Accordingly, case study design was employed for this study; since it is a particular kind of qualitative research that seeks to describe culture and language from the point of view of cultural insiders. Primary data, like key informant interview, observation, focus group discussion, are used for this study. In addition to these, FDRE and Oromia Regional State constitutions, minutes, appeals and proclamations are used as secondary data sources. In this contemporary world, the federal political system is expected to accommodate and promote cultural and linguistic diversities in multiethnic towns. It is also one of the systems to conserve and re capture the conquered culture, language and identities of the political minorities in the Ethiopian urban areas. In Bishoftu town the culture and language of Oromo ethnic group is not well promoted and practiced in the present federal system of Ethiopia. In the multiethnic Bishoftu town of Oromia, today a great number of Oromo children are not learning in their mother tongue. Many private institutions and federal owned institutions are not working in the regional working language. The medium of communication in different economic, political and social activities widely conducted in Amharic. These indicate that the impacts of the former marginalization policies are still reflected in the town. These historical back grounds still stagnant the development of culture and language of Oromo in this town. Basically even though the town was/is the homeland of Oromo community, the culture and language of the Oromo have been strongly subjugated for a century in Bishoftu town. Except once a year during the time of Irrecha celebration and when holiday there is no manifestation of Oromo culture in the Bishoftu town.



federalism, language, culture, ethnicity, and multiethnic