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Ethiopia--Culture Smart! by Culture Smart!

Ethiopia--Culture Smart! by Culture Smart!

Author:Culture Smart!
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Kuperard
Published: 2021-03-15T00:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER FIVE

THE ETHIOPIANS AT HOME

THE HOME AND THE COMPOUND

Ethiopians favor the traditional compound (or enclosure) as a model for their home life. It provides security and room for their extended family to share a common life.

In the Ethiopian countryside a family will live in a thatched house built of mud and wood, or stone, and almost always surrounded by a wall, or a fence with a gateway. There may be two or three houses within the enclosure, belonging to members of an extended family. The enclosure is known as a gebi in Amharic, and this is always translated in English as “compound.”

This pattern has been adapted to fit the urban lifestyle of Addis Ababa and other large towns, where middle-class people build themselves a family home, surrounded by a wall or a fence, with a big front gate. This constitutes a compound. Current planning regulations in Addis Ababa, where land is scarce, favor a multistory building, with a very small compound, but houses that go back twenty-five years or more are likely to be one-story villas with a rather larger garden space.



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