Saturday, April 4, 2009

My memories of Borkena

Borkena is one of the tributaries of Awash river -draining eastwards from the High lands of Wollo ( part of the central high lands of Ethiopia). It's like the river jordan of my home town,Dessie.

Borkena, in Dessie- my world in the past and still a place very much close to my heart-drains the foot of Azwa Gedel on its way east ward. Dessie is small town enchained by mountains. Even higer than the mountains, which encircled Dessie, is the Mountain of love- the social Dessie. Simplicity is combined with sense of community to generate social warmth.

Borkena is selectd as my blog name because it was an important part of my childhood world. Geographical features could have a social impact. Back then, Borkena attracted more children from differnt parts of the town ( In fact the river streches through most past of the town on the east side) and we cherished the river with no limit. There were shoking memories of drown cases but the fun of cherishing borkena is stronger.

While exploring the inns and outs of Borkena as part of our childhood play, we (I remember) also used to have imagination about the outside world. At one point in time, there was a tempetation to explore the world outside of Borkena and we set out to "explore" kombolcha, which is about 23 kilometers to the south east of Dessie, without informing anyone in our respective family members and it was like a big adventure. In short, Borkea was a small world of play exploration and imagination. Our time in Borkena was usually fun, at times horrific. But when we go home, we miss it till the next day. Among others, Fasil, Mamush, Eyasu, Yosef, Mulugeta, Yohannes, Habtamu, Awol, Zuriash and Fanaye comes to mind when I think about Borkena. I am very nostalgic about it.

Of the games, I used to love ''handap''-it is a corrupted English for "hands up!" The game is played both in group and individually. It is an imitation of combat mission. We hide in the bushes and try to spot an opponent( "an enemy") and call out his name and he is "killed".If one is killing more than one he says "alofiw" -to mean "all of you."

The other game was "Ahlen" -I feel like this is a distant ancestor of cricket. We put a short stick on two stones. Using another stick, we raise the stick from the stones and kick it. The fartherst one kicks the stick without being caught by the opponent, the fartherst he rides the back of his opponent.


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