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Everyone was surprised when we got engaged

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The most significant component of Ethiopians’ lives is their families. It serves as the foundation for people’s support networks, with family frequently relying on one another to manage daily obstacles (see Collective Life and Community Belonging in Core Concepts). Because of the importance of family ties, many Ethiopians feel a significant need to support relatives who may appear to be ‘far away’ by Western standards. An Ethiopian living in an English-speaking Western country, for example, may prioritize transferring money to extended family members in Ethiopia over establishing personal savings. In certain circumstances, entire towns are reliant on the provisions of an immigrant living abroad (directly or indirectly).

The traditional family structure is big, multigenerational, and patrilocal. When a couple marries, it is typical for the wife to move live with her husband’s family. As a result, the average Ethiopian household consists of three generations: (1) the eldest couple, (2) their sons, sons’ wives, and any unmarried daughters, and (3) their married sons’ grandchildren. However, many people in cities and other nations may live in nuclear families. In metropolitan regions, sons are frequently urged to find their own land and, with their wives, to move out of their parents’ house. Even after children leave the house, resources are still divided among family members.

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