Ethiopian News, Current Affairs and Opinion Forum
Naga Tuma
Posts: 4330
Joined: 24 Apr 2007, 00:27

What is in a name? ሰማዕት ፣ ኦሊ, Holy Day, Holy Cow, Holy See, and Holy Fire

Post by Naga Tuma » 12 Aug 2018, 10:48

Growing up, I remember the words ሰማዕት and ኦሊ (ጉያ ለፈ ኦለን.)

A ሰማዕት used to be revered. The legendary Ethiopian ሰማዕት that I heard about and remember was Abune Petros; he fell in the hands of Mussolini's invading army in Ethiopia.

A few years ago, I watched someone call Ethiopians who fell in the hands of other Ethiopians ሰማዕታት. My instinctive reaction was there must be some qualification for the word to distinguish between those who fell in the hands of foreign invading armies and other Ethiopians.

I don't know if ኦሊ as in ጉያ ለፈ ኦለን relates in any way to holy in Holy Day. ጉያ ለፈ ኦለን is a day that is celebrated instead of working. I remember that there used to be many of them under the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

As I learned English and came across the terms Holy Day, Holy Cow, Holy See, I learned that they refer to celebratory concepts and consciousness. They didn't take away my childhood consciousness. Very recently, I heard the term Holy Fire for the first time and my instinctive reaction was in what world do fire and holy mix? Does this show our conceptual consciousness growing or devolving or am I missing something from my childhood consciousness? I wonder how many people had similar reactions about the term when they heard it for the first time.