In Ethiopia, coffee is more than a beverage. It’s a catalyst for a vibrant social event called “nu buna tetu”, which directly translates to “come and drink coffee”, but is simply an invitation to have a good time. The ceremony, performed to welcome visitors, involves three rounds of coffee: abol buna, tona buna, and baraka buna. Each round is brewed with gradually reduced strength, and is accompanied by a light snack, often popcorn.
To embrace this rich Ethiopian tradition, we organised our own Nu Buna Tetu gathering last month at the Addis Capstone Hub. In true Ethiopian fashion, all present at the hub honoured the invitation and participated in a fun getting-to-know-you event.
Amidst the aromatic allure of brewing coffee, we were aligned in our goal – to take this time to meaningfully connect with peers. The event offered us the opportunity to celebrate personal and ALX-related achievements within the community and engage in discussions about upcoming initiatives. We also discovered people’s pet-peeves and special skills. Some learners even found kindred spirits in other vegan environmentalists who share their commitment for reimagining the composition of cement.
As part of the ceremony, we engaged in profound discussions and strategised ways to uplift and enrich our communities. Through the exchange of experiences, we identified the changemakers among us – the talented individuals driving positive change within our respective communities. In that atmosphere of discussion, debates and disagreements were inevitable, but we embraced the opportunity for growth and unity. Recognising the value of diverse perspectives, we resolved to organise a structured debate one weekend, fostering an environment where differing viewpoints could be explored and celebrated.
Of course, we also indulged in moments of lightheartedness, with games and jokes intersecting most conversations. Victors were duly applauded and their achievements were rewarded in tickets to a concert to be held that very evening!
Truly, the essence of our gathering lay in the simplicity of the three rounds of coffee. Each cup represented a deepening bond among us, with the fading strength symbolising the growing connection among us.
In all, it was a wonderful time with peers and a testament to the power of tradition, community, and the simple pleasure of sharing a cup of coffee.
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