Ethiopia Facts — Three Unique Characteristics Featuring The Letter C!

When many people think of Ethiopia, they think of the ancient archaeological finds, the bustling city of Addis Ababa where life is lived on the streets, or the rock-cut Christian churches of Lalibela still standing since the 12th–13th centuries. But, keep reading…here are a few things you may not know:


Many of us rely on that first cup of coffee to get us going. We have Ethiopia to thank for this! As the story goes, a long, long time ago, a goat herder saw his flock eating a certain plant, after which they were noticeably more energetic. He gave the fruit a nibble himself…and the coffee industry was born.




Many cultures have their own calendars instead of the Western Gregorian calendar. And most follow the ’12 months to a year format. Not Ethiopia! Each year in the Ethiopian calendar has 12 months with 30 days. The last month, called “Pagume,” has five days (or six on leap years.) Ethiopia computed the birth of Jesus Christ believing that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for seven years, and therefore, Ethiopia has a different year than the Gregorian calendar, as well. They’re seven years behind, so this year in the United States is 2022. In Ethiopia, it’s only 2015.



Finally, Ethiopia, Africa’s oldest independent country, is the only country in Africa that has never been colonized. On March first, almost 125 years ago, an army of civilians defended themselves against the Italians thereby allowing Ethiopia to be recognized as an independent state. During World War II, Italy again occupied Ethiopia but never established control.

There are so many reasons to love Ethiopia! Today’s blog post is a quick tour of a few of the MANY special characteristics that shape Ethiopia.

Winter Olympics and Ethiopia?

Ethiopia has a nearly 70-year history with the summer Olympic games, having first participated in 1956. Over the years Ethiopia has won 55 medals in summer Olympic games, all in long-distance “athletics” or running events. This is likely no surprise… Ethiopia is well-known as a country with many exceptionally talented and gifted distance runners.

But it wasn’t until 2006 that Ethiopia first joined in the winter games in Toronto, Canada. Ethiopia then participated in the winter games again in Turin, Italy in 2010. The same athlete, Robel Teklemariam, a cross-country skier, participated in both games but did not medal. You can read a little more about Robel in Tadias Magazine

This year Ethiopia does not have a delegate in Beijing. Do you think Ethiopia will be represented in 2026 in Italy? We sure hope so!

Sewasew on Art, Nature, and Connection

Welcome to our first Ethiopian artist feature! Each artist has donated their artwork for our Threadless Shop. This generosity is so important for our mission, and it brings beautiful and original Ethiopian art into your home in a unique and fun way!  Visit our shop on Threadless to view (and buy!) this amazing artist’s artwork! Continue reading “Sewasew on Art, Nature, and Connection”

Meet Jonah, an 12-Year-Old Crocheting Prodigy and Budding Philanthropist

At just 12 years old, Jonah Faiso Larson has already mastered the art of crocheting and opened his own crochet business, Jonah’s Hands.

It began when Jonah was just five years old. His aunt gave him a bag of old craft items and Jonah was immediately drawn to the crochet needle. After watching hundreds of YouTube videos, Jonah picked up the talent and was “hooked.” Now, Jonah crochets each morning and evening, creating anything from scarves, to potholders, to bags, and ornaments. Jonah has developed his crochet skill and is often called a crochet prodigy.

But it’s Jonah’s philanthropy that’s garnered national recognition. Jonah uses his talents to donate some of his goods and earnings to organizations he holds dear. Roots Ethiopia was fortunate enough to receive several of Jonah’s most prized pieces – some of the very first projects he ever crocheted when he was just five years old. He donated them to be sold in Roots Ethiopia’s online store during our annual “Upcycle Sale” so that profits can support our programs. In 2019 Jonah started a GoFundMe campaign and generously gave $9,300 to begin work on “Jonah’s Library” near the place he was born. Later, he invited Anthropologie to donate $5k to help create Jonah’s Science Lab at the same school! The library is finished, and the science lab is undergoing construction as of February 2020. It is an honor and a privilege to work with Jonah. We love the talent of both is hands and his heart.

We’re proud to work with such an aspiring young artist, and we’re so grateful to Jonah for his continued support and generosity. Keep up the great work, Jonah!

To learn more about Jonah’s Library, you might want to catch his debut on NBC’s Little Big Shots! We surprised him with a video welcome from students at the school! You can hear Jonah’s story here.  Minute 22.37 is the start of Jonah’s segment. (We’re not crying, you’re crying! It’s very emotional!).

To support Jonah’s work, we are grateful for any gifts made to It’s All Big To A Kid. Gifts made this this campaign will be dedicated to work at the “orange” school, which is Jonah’s favorite color.