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Asmara ‘bella’ in May

May is a precious month in the history of Eritrea and its people. It has been in May that the Eritrean people started enjoying the fruit of independence. The suppression, the fear of death, the go there, don’t pass through this that the Asmara residents had been experiencing under colonialism had been gone forever in the month of May.

Asmara that took its modern shape during the Italian colonialism had been compared by many historians as Little Rome (Picollo Roma). Its cleanliness, the art deco buildings, clean roads have been very inspirational for many visitors and tourists. But with the brutality and heavy hands of the enemy Asmara and Asmarinos have been denied to enjoy the beauty of the city. The streets of Asmara were packed with dirt, cans and corrugated iron sheets to block the movement of the residents to and from different areas of the city. There has been no place that Asmarinos could walk freely without being checked by the enemy soldiers. Asmara bella had been turned in front of its residents own eyes into black city in which one could not enjoy the beauty and contents of the city.

On May 1991 all that turned into history. That day in the morning hours, Asmara fell under the hands of its owners and its residents started enjoying the streets, cafes and every entertainment places with no one looking after them but by their own. Life came back to Asmara. All the dirt and corrugated iron sheets have been removed and thrown to dirt pins and Asmara regained its cleanness.

Asmara from 24 May 1991 on wards observes the month of May as its rebirth day. From May 15 the city is decorated with flags, lights of different colors and its residents strolling on the main street with their children and friends. May 15 is the starting of more than two weeks long festivities of independence. Music, laughter, ululation and dancing become the only activity that is being observed in the city, enjoying the fruit of freedom.

This year, 24 May 2014, as usual Asmara is shining with neon lights, national flag and all government buildings and business institutions doing every thing they could to decorate their places. Cultural shows are being performed in every corner of the city.

The cultural shows enable residents enjoy the culture and music performances of the different Eritrean ethnic groups in one atmosphere. Tourists and Eritreans from the Diaspora especially enjoy the cultural shows and music and get to know the different Eritrean cultures and traditions.

With good publicity and preparation 24 May could be used as a potential for tourism promotion. Every year on 24 May tourists and Eritreans from Diaspora could come to Asmara and join Asmarinos in their celebrations in commemoration of Independence Day and there by contribute in the growth of tourism industry.


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