VIVA OROMIA: St.Cloud State University

Last year we broke a story about bullying and harassment claim by Oromo students at St.Cloud State University. The controversy surrounded the exclusion of Oromo students from the annual African Night celebration. The University acknowledged the issue and stated, the matter was resolved to both parties’ satisfaction. Oromo students disagreed alleging the school did little to address their concerns.

Two weeks ago, the Oromia Student Organization (OSO), a student group at St.Cloud State University, put up a separate and well attended event. The event, dubbed VIVA:OROMIA, was OSO’s effort to raise awareness, and share the beauty and diversity of Oromo culture with the St. Cloud community.

The Twin Cities based Oromia Youth Association dance troupe was invited to premier the event with traditional Oromo folk dance. Oromo people make up more than half of Ethiopia’s 82 million people. There is also a sizable Oromo presence in the neighboring countries of East Africa (Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan). The Oromo language is the third most widely spoken in the continent. One of the fastest growing immigrant groups in the Midwest, the Oromo population in Minnesota is estimated to surpass 20,000.

The following video presentation was passed along by Surraa Oromiyaa. Video courtesy of Edao Dawano.




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