We so want to keep our boys connected to their culture of origin, but are finding it hard to do so. Almost all the Ethiopians we have met are from around Addis Ababa and most have never heard of Burjii. The Ethiopia described in children's books is Lalibela, Gondar and Axum, the Amharic language and fidel, the shamma, the iskista. None of that has anything to do with our boys. Yes, I want them to be proud of being Ethiopian, but I also want to them to be proud of being Burjii and to feel that the Burjii are as important to Ethiopia as the Amhara and Tigrinya are.
The boys continue to be very resistant to going to the Ethiopian church and I now think it's partly because the church has nothing to do with their experience of Ethiopia (and partly because church is boring). At the church everyone wears a white ne'tela, so visually it's pretty striking. The only person we ever saw in Burjii wearing white was me. And everyone at church speaks Amharic, which for our boys was never more than the language of the orphanage, not the most positive of associations. It would be as if someone took me to an NRA convention and said, "You're American, they're American, so this is your culture." I would definitely resist.
I have been looking online for more information about Burjii culture. There is not a lot out there. Anyone have any resources to point me toward?