Sunday 8th August 2010 saw the closing of Eritrea Festival that continued for 10 days at the Expo grounds. Individuals, institutions, regional administrations that participated in all the programs that added color to the annual feast were awarded in accordance to the contents presented.The closing ceremony was held at Expo exhibition hall with animated participation of the nine ethnic groups from the six regions of the country that had adorned the festival. High ranking government officials and a large number of invited guests also took part in the closing event.
The festival was closed with the same fervent spirit as it started in the opening ceremony. It indeed made the participants of the annual festival feel honored of being part of the occasion and at the same time prompting them to long for the Eritrea Festival 2011 and experience the same or rather better than this year’s festival.Present at the occasion Mr. Semere Rusom, Chairman of the National Holidays Coordinating Committee referred to the occasion as an event that highlighted the unity of nationals everywhere. He went on to add that Eritrea shall stand as a strong country characterized by abundant health, culture, science and technology, peace and unity as well as education and justice.
Taking the venue next Mrs. Almaz Ghebrehawariat, member of the evaluation committee, highlighted the general overview of the programs of Eritrea festival 2010 that include pavilion of the six regions, traditional housing and livelihood of the nine ethnic groups, folk dance and music, educational village, oral tradition, short stories, dramas, narrative films, top ten songs, sculpture, painting and hand crafts, couples competition, traditional sports, speech competitions in different languages in which all of the nine ethnic groups took part and presented a multicultural contents in the aforementioned areas.The closing ceremony announced the winners of the varied presentations staged in the Eritrean Festival 2010.
Of all the 186 traditional and modern songs released between 30th of June 2009 to 19th of June 2010 a total of 14 songs were legible for the award of top ten songs of this year’s festival. The three best songs are Higi Girim by Tesfay Mehari, Gu’e Leminey by Yohannes Tikabo, Eritrea Sembeli by Mohammed She’abi, Nkid Tiray by Ferehiwet Berihu and Kali’e Harnet Yelen by Tesfalem Arefayne. In giving rendition to Eritrean classic songs, Igri mekel cultural troupe won 10,000 Nakfa.
In literary works, about 140 writings produced in six Eritrean languages were assessed. Of the short stories competition that was held for its 6th time in the Eritrea Festival seven stories were selected to be published for their content, structure, and technique of writing.The oral traditions reflected how the Eritrean societies prudently resolved conflicts as per their respective customary laws. It is worth mentioning the significance of oral traditions in revitalizing cultural legacies and bequeathing them to coming generations. Winners of the oral traditions were Southern Red Sea Region, Northern Red Sea Region, Gash Barka Region as well as Southern Region.
The regional pavilions remarkably highlighted the cordiality of Eritrean societies. Traditional houses embellished with decorative items that are typically marked by their artistry have been attention grabbing. Familiarizing historical places to the participants of the festival through the recorded information also deserves acclaim.
The educational villages of the six regions of the country enables one to have a glimpse of the endeavors that have been carried out in providing equal distribution of educational access and to understand the creative capacities of the students from different corners of the country.
Folk dance and music was as always among the captivating and splendid performances staged at the Expo grounds. In this area of the presentation, Anseba, Central, and Southern Regions ranked from first to third respectively. Likewise in traditional housing and traditional livelihood, Southern Red Sea, Anseba, and Northern Red Sea regions become winners. In innovation and invention, sculpture, painting and handcrafts winners individually as well as at regional level received their respective prizes.
In this year’s festival a total of 12 dramas were assessed of which 4 became winners. A comic drama titled Ditchi written by Hagos Weldeghebriel (Suzinino) was awarded 10,000 Nakfa. Another three dramas have received the same amount of money for their content, directing, and acting.
Prize winners in invention and innovation such as modifying or manufacturing animal feed processing and mixing machines, and also in information technology individuals who developed humidity and temperature control system, English-Tigrigna electronic dictionary received certificates and monetary prizes.
A total of 113 paintings, 62 sculptures and 11 groups of handicrafts and ceramic products were displayed in different pavilions. Special monetary incentive was also given to the Information and Agitation Department of the Ministry of Defense for the initiatives it took in presenting impressive works of sculpture that mirrors the exact photographs of veteran fighters.
Couples competition on relationship and marriage related issues also examined the psychological and sociological maturity of the contestants. Winners were also individually awarded for their rational and convincing answers.
Special prize was awarded to the Southern Red Sea Region for impressively decorating the traditional houses at the Expo grounds. The Anseba Region also won 40,000 Nakfa for standing first in the over all presentation showcased in the education village. Out of the 73 competitions in 8 types of sports, the Southern Region championed in the overall traditional sports activities.
In the closing ceremony, folk singers and dancers from the nine ethnic groups gaily celebrated their awards on varied socio-cultural, artistic, innovative, and other activities that were featured in the festival. Following the closed ceremony, different cultural shows were also staged at the Expo grounds evoking nostalgic feelings.