Silver Spring celebrates Ethiopian culture

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"We bring a lot, we have our food, our culture."

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WDVM) – The smell of Ethiopian cuisine and the sight of colorful jewelry and garments took over downtown Silver Spring for this year’s Ethiopian Festival.

“We bring a lot, we have our food, our culture. We appreciate living in this country and assimilating to the freedom and everything that comes with it,” said Hilina Alemu, who emigrated from Ethiopia to live in America when she was 17.

The celebration of culture brought people from across the area out to experience Ethiopian style and flavor.

Locals enjoyed shopping for Ethiopian-sourced brass and gemstone jewelry.

Tuyen Deng from New Orleans was stopping through the area on a “girls’ trip” and decided to try some fare from the festival.

“In this coconut is fresh coconut and coconut juice, after we drink it we’ll go back there and chop it and we will eat the rest,” said Deng.

Ethiopian natives were proud to show off their traditions and culture Saturday afternoon.

“There’s a lot of Ethiopians living around this area. We love our country, we miss it, but we appreciate the freedom here,” said Alemu.

Sunday evening, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich declared Sept. 1 “Ethiopian Day” across the county.

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