(OPride) — Annual events and festivals are something everyone looks forward to. They afford us opportunities to reminisce with old friends, make new friends and memories that last for ages.
But what if you are a diaspora community that is always yearning for a sense of belonging —or home? For the growing Oromo diaspora stateside, the North American summer marks a festive occasion that brings many closer to this notion of home. But not necessarily for its beautiful weather though.
For the past 17 years, many Oromo immigrants residing in North America have taken an annual pilgrimage (almost akin to the religious type) to a chosen city in the United States and Canada. The primary attraction is football (or soccer as the Americans say). Founded in 1995, the Oromo Sports Federation in North America (OSFNA) organizes an Oromo version of the World Cup every year.
Popularly known as #OromoWeek or Oromo festival, the weeklong events feature popular concerts, soccer matches between a handful of community soccer clubs from across the U.S. and Canada as well as various religious, social and political conferences.
This year is no different. The 17th annual OSFNA tournament kicks off on August 2 at the James Griffin Stadium in Saint Paul, Minn. Home to the largest Oromo population outside of Oromia (estimated at 35,000), Minnesota is affectionately known as “Little Oromia.” But the soccer tournament in Minnesota is not the only Oromo event happening around the U.S. this month. Here are five upcoming OMG-can’t-miss Oromo events across the U.S.