On Ethiopian television recently was aired a half-hour program about an Ethiopian composer of Armenian origin Nerses Nalbandian. Nalbandian wrote the hymn of the Ethiopian Empire (named “Ethiopia, be happy”) in 1926, in the years of the reign of Haile Selassie I, the last Emperor of Ethiopia.
The film tells the story of the Armenians of Ethiopia and of their contribution to this country. However, the authors dedicated most of the program to one of the most talented composers of Africa, Nerses Nalbandian, the author of the Ethiopian hymn that became a symbol of victories and the unity of the Oromo, Amhara, Tigray, Somali, and other peoples.
Today, the Ethiopian parliament raises the question of the revival of the old imperial hymn of Nalbandian that was abolished by the Communists under Mengistu Haile Mariam. If the draft law is approved, the hymn written by our compatriot will once again sound over Ethiopia.
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Ethiopian Music and Nerses Nelbandian