Showing my ignorance of African history

March 1st, 2016, 8am

Seeing this van the other morning prompted a number of questions to come to mind.

  1. Ethiopian beer, in London. Is that really a thing?!

  2. Why would an Ethiopian beer be named after England’s Patron Saint?

  3. I wonder what that tastes like?

So I had to do some Googling obviously, and discovered that, yes, of course there’s such a thing as Ethiopian beer - why wouldn’t there be? - and of course you can get it in London. You can get anything in London (well, almost!).

On the Patron Saint thing… my first thought was that perhaps at some time in the past, when the British Empire was almost everywhere, some English official decided to make Ethiopia seem more like the motherland by adopting this name for a local product. But that’s where my terrible ignorance of African history was exposed. It turns out that Ethiopia is actually the only African country that has never been under colonial rule of any sort. And it turns out that St George happens to be Ethiopia’s Patron Saint. In fact, one web page I found said he was from Ethiopia (really??), so I suppose the old dragon-slayer isn’t as quintessentially English as I first thought!

As for the taste, well I can’t answer that one yet, but I’ll be sure to update this page once I can.

Arushi and Matthieu said thanks.

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Adrian Tribe

A follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and father, a Kentish Man (not a Man of Kent), a commuter to London

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