How Pushkin’s literary works can help strengthen Russian-Ethiopian relations

March 10, 2009

APA-Moscow (Russia) The Russkiy Mir Foundation of Russia is cooperating with the Ethiopian authorities to translate from Russian into Amharic some of the selected novels and other literary works by Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin that would further help to strengthen and promote cultural relations between Russia and Ethiopia, Elias Ashebir Amare, Counsellor at the Ethiopian embassy in Moscow told APA on Tuesday.

“The Pushkin’s works are well known in Ethiopia. Some of his works have been translated into Amharic by a number of Russian and Ethiopian writers. His books will be available to the Ethiopian readers hopefully before Pushkin’s 211st birthday, which falls on June 6. In our view, such commendable work can play a very important role in cementing people-to-people relations and promoting cultural exchanges between Russia and Ethiopia,” Amare said.

Ethiopians believe that Pushkin was a gift of Abyssinia, as Ethiopia was then referred to. Pushkin wrote many poems and literary works when he lived in then imperial Russia and left a living testimony of Russian blood ties with Ethiopia.

This is because Pushkin’s great grandfather was taken from Ethiopia to Turkey, and finally to Russia where he became the favoured foster child of Russian Emperor Peter the Great, who studied in France and was responsible for building military fortifications in imperial Russia.

“Whatever the detailed information about these historical events might be, Pushkin remains a common cultural and literary heritage link between Russia and Ethiopia and indeed with Africa as a whole. Pushkin is one among the many ties binding Ethiopia and Russia,” Amare assertively added.

The Councillor explained further that Pushkin’s literature have earned him world reputation and respect that a monument of full bronze statue of Pushkin was erected in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, and the seat of the continental organization, the African Union.

“It is because of the high importance that Ethiopia and Russia have attached to his works and legacy that the Ethiopian embassy, together with the Ethiopian-Russian Friendship Society and Russkiy Mir, has initiated the establishment of the Pushkin Initiative Group that has started to work out a detailed plan to preserve the writer’s name by erecting more monuments in some cities in other countries, circulating his works in other foreign languages and to propagate the social and human values that Pushkin represented during his time,” Amare said in conclusion.