Another town, another market. Dimeka’s is on Saturdays, and is marginally bigger than Key Afar. Most people in Dimeka are “normal”, according to our driver, with which he means that they go dressed in Western cloths. However, on market day there are a lot of out-of-towners around, many indeed in traditional dress – although it seems that the women have been encouraged to put on a T-shirt. The main advantage of a market is that people are more relaxed, look more natural than in the villages, where they are only focused on having their picture taken (and if successful, have this totally unnatural pose, unless you get them to laugh – not always easy).
There has been talk of the traditional bull jumping ceremony, a Hamar custom in which they first beat up their wives, and then have the young boys walk over the backs of up to eight bulls, to prove their manhood. As a tourist, apparently you may be lucky, or not; after all, this is a serious cultural thing, important in Hamar society, not to be taken lightly. It was just coincidence that, a few days ago when we arrived in Turmi, they just had had the ceremony; it must also have been coincidence that the hotel was fully booked, that day. But how lucky we were that in Dimeka they were, just today, going to have another such ceremony! And what a coincidence that, just today, there were once again so many tourist around! Who were all going to be paying 300 birr entrance!
If they could just admit that they do this for the tourists, not for themselves.
We skipped the ceremony, went to our hotel instead, and watched some more birds. But we enjoyed the market.
next: moving away again, to Yabello