Oromo love poem
Fuulli kee daawitee keessaa,
Walaloo bareeduu naaf weellisaa,
Garuu, dhokachuudhaaf ariifatee,
Jaalala koo isa dhumaa fudhatee.
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Oromo language and the Gallas
Little translation in Afaan Oromo of the love poem for all the beautiful African women of the horn of Africa. This Cushitic language also called (Galla, Oromo, Oromiffa, Oromoo, autonym : Afaan Oromoo), is spoken in the region of Oromia in Ethiopia. Oromo, formely known as galla, is one of the two major languages of Ethiopia. It's spoken mainly in the southern part of the country, and in small number across the border in Kenya. Althrough Amharic is considered Ethiopia's national language, Oromo, with 20 million speakers, ranks among the top ten languages of Africa.
Oromo is one of the cushitic languages, an important branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. Native speakers generally call it Oromiffa or Afan Oromo. Though originally written in the Amharic script, it was never much used as a written language. But in the 1990s it was made the administrative language of all Oromo-speaking area and also the language of instruction in the schools. At the same time the decision was made that henceforth it would be writen in the Roman alphabet. There are also speakers of the galla in Kenya in Djibouti and Somalia. There would be some forty millions of Gallas to speak this Cushitic language in northern Kenya and Ethiopia.
It is one of the major languages of the Horn of Africa. Although it has become a national language, there is still no consensus on a standard language. The West-Central variants (Raya, Wallo, Macha and Tuulamaa) are the most spoken and seem to begin to become a base for a standard. In the east we find the group qottu, and guji, gabra, arsi and booranaa which form another group. Let us also mention the Orma and Waata dilects.
In imperial times the Oromo was only a vernacular language, because its teaching and use in the media was not allowed. Although amharicized Oromos have been in various governments since the 18th century, its the new government who gave its recognition. The language has also been designated as one of 15 possible for literacy in the country. So people began to write and publish in this language, initially in the slightly modified Ethiopian syllabary. Then it is the Latin alphabet under the name of Qubee, under the pressure of a liberation front that has emerged (1974). This writing system, however, remains problematic because the consensus on particular brands is still not fully established.
The Gallas themselves denominate Oromos. They cultivate barley, but are mainly nomadic pastoralists, subdivided locally into exogamous patrilineages. Their legal and political system was organized in age class. The rites of passage (gada) were spread over 5 stages of eight years each. For some celebrations they overlap with magnificent make-up that can resemble to a camouflage.