Join the captivating journey with the crew of the Besintu drama as the Ashenda festival looms on the horizon. The indomitable women of Tigray are filled with anticipation as they diligently prepare to revive their cultural heritage and seek solace in the aftermath of a challenging period. Among these women is Awet Girmay, a beacon of unwavering determination who encapsulates the very essence of this cherished festival.
Beyond its mere festive nature, Ashenda holds profound significance for Awet—it embodies women’s emancipation and self-reliance, offering a precious day of unconstrained celebration. To her, it’s a tangible embodiment of Maryam’s magnificence, a moment to pay homage to the fortitude and tenacity inherent in women.
However, Awet harbors reservations regarding the preservation of these time-honored traditions. She expresses apprehension that the gradual encroachment of modernization is eroding their invaluable cultural legacy.
In times gone by, the Ashenda festivities were tailored to the various stages and experiences of women’s lives. Mothers who had recently given birth were commemorated in a distinct manner, while elder mothers enjoyed their unique celebrations. Yet, this nuanced approach has given way to a more unified celebration, diluting the richness and intricacy of the traditional observances, as Awet points out.
Another aspect that weighs heavily on Awet’s mind is the evolving attire showcased during the festival. The authentic traditional attire once featured ribbon dresses adorned with pearls. Regrettably, Awet bemoans the infiltration of Chinese fabric weaving, which has supplanted the traditional garments. She observes that the shift extends to hairstyles too, with women forsaking their customary use of hair in favor of synthetic wigs—a departure from tradition.