(Irreechaa, Melbourne, 14 May 2017) — The Oromo Irreecha Arfaasaa festival held on 14 May 2017 for the third time in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia at Mount Dandenong.
It was celebrated under the theme of “Our Forest Matters: Restoring the Spirit of Nature by Plant a Tree” in which it aimed to celebrate Irreechaa festivals to follow our tradition and religion in society, to create public awareness where Oromo cultural and religious practice advocates for harmonious ecosystem.
According to the organisers the festival was designed to provide a better understanding of Oromo culture, history and humanity, to pave the way for promotion of the Oromo culture, history, lifestyle and practice.
The Celebration of Irreechaa Arfaasaa, a national Spirit Day, is held yearly both to thank Waaqaa for the blessings and mercies received throughout the past dry season and to welcome the new rainy season associated with hard working and challenging negative impacts of climate.
The ceremony honoured the Oromo elders’ blessings and wisdom, and eventually helped to preserve the heritage and strengthen the progress of humanity. It is also committed to provide care and respect for mother earth.
And part of that providing care for nature element is engaging Oromo people in promoting and cultivating Oromo cultural practice that contribute for mother earth care.
So what’s the next step?
It’s easy to say get engaged but how?
And there are certain conditions required to promote Oromoi culture.
First, how to get engaged – two ideas:
One – empower yourself – learn and understand what Irreechaa, nature, land in Oromo perspective means. Knowledge is power.
Two- Practice your culture in your daily life!!
This Irreechaa festival is a good evidence that Oromo people have a deep relationship with the land and nature. As discussed on the ceremony, what is needed now is deep engagement with the rapidly evolving climate change because of their unique connection with land and nature will be affected in a profound and special way by climate change.
The theme of this year celebration is simple: plant a tree!! No matter where you live, you can plant a tree.