MOGOGO – a standing proof for our ancient trade since 3 millennium B.C.

23/08/2009 Off By Viduthalai Mayiladuthurai

Two months before, it was an accident I, with a goup of foreign people went on for a dinner to MOGOGO, an Ethiopian restaurent. MOGOGO is situated near Osterport in Copenhegan. The hall booked for us was dressed-up so ancient, as if we were in a furnished cave. There was little light and the African orchestra was engaging us through those hidden speakers. We tried to add contrast to the music with our timid laughters and fuzzy cross talks. There was a clap, followed by “Welcome to MOGOGO” the host announced that we are now in Ethiopia and we are supposed to stick to the Ethiopian way of dining. Here are the rules; You will be served a menu of traditional Ethiopian food in big plates. The size of the plates stay suffecient to serve 4 people sit together and enjoy the great dinner. You will not be accompaned with fork, kife or a spoon for that matter. Your fingers do the job. That’s the Ethiopian style. The dictation was over with a great smile. There were shocks and surprizes, “Fingers???” except us, three Indians in the team. Here is the extra tip, “Are there any Indians among you,” “Yes” raised our voices. She added, “you have a surprise about the food, wait and see…!” We were waiting. It took some time until the surprises dissolved in air and the great king, Christian IV came in as the topic of the table. Then came, those huge plates decoreated with some lathery, fragile circular dish that looks smillar to our AAPPAM(DOSA)!! Myself, an Indian frined, a chinese PhD student and a Danish professor were on our ONE PLATE. The salad was served with some spinach, tomato mixed with olive, pepper and salt in the middle of the plate and then came the gravy. Myself and the Indian friend opted for a vegetarian stuff and so were tomotos and carrots in the place of chicken and lamb. Our fingers went on eazy, picked up a little of the DOSA like dish and moved some gravy in to it, engaged our tongue. To my surprize the food was not at all alien. My Indian friends eyes too shared the simillar surprize. “ Hey..!!! This is more Indian” yelled, my friend. Next to me, our Dane and the Chinese counterparts were struggling to engage their fingers, still to tast it were on a pause!

Yes, that was a typical Indian flavour. The taste matched exactly our home land. The lady of the restaurent was enjoying our eyes expanding. “Yes,” she says with a long smile, “it is your people long, long ago used to travel the Red Sea for trade. They have to halt at Ethiopia before they meet their Egypt friends. They introduced the spices to us and that’s how we have the same flavour. So, that’s the surprize, what I quoted for you!”

That was a nice feeling. A great history was before us that tasted delicious. I remembered the schoolday stories told by our literature teachers that our forefathers had a well built maritime and a great network of trade around the world. We had established contacts and commerce with the Egyptians in those old, old days. We traveled the red sea all along with our valuables, etc… etc… We know this through a handfull of archiological findings and the texts in our literature. Now, here is a live proof.

The next time, this week when am in copenhegan, I did not miss to show this to my other Indian friend came to visity me from Germany. This time, it was me compering about the food and our history. I wanted to share this with you all while I am savouring the proud history of our forefathers. Thanks MOGOGO.