Location: The Oromo people live in Ethiopia where the population is sixty million and the Oromo people comprise the largest ethnic group of approximately thirty million. Their original homeland was Oromia, which is now Ethiopia and some Oromos still live in northern Kenya.
History: Just like other ethnic groups living in Africa, the Oromo people lost their sovereignty to the government of Ethiopia and continual political and social oppression during the twentieth century. However, since their cultural identity remains strong, most Oromo people still consider themselves Oromo rather than Ethiopian. The long dictatorship of Haile Selassie of the Amhara ethnic group tormented the Oromo people harshly by banning the Oromo language and establishing Amhara culture as the culture of all Ethiopia. The Oromo people overthrew Haile Selassie in 1974 with the help of a grass-roots Oromo resistance movement. Unfortunately, the communist government resumed the oppression and persecution of Oromo people. The United States began accepting refugees from Ethiopia in the late 1970's. After 1991, the United States stopped accepting refugees from Ethiopia, so the Oromo people who wanted to immigrate to the United States had to apply for visas.
Language: Nowadays, the Oromo people of Ethiopia are allowed to speak their own language, Oromiffa. The Oromo language was banned under the Mengistu's communist government and the Oromo people were forced to speak Amharic in schools or in the public sphere for decades. Thus, Oromos who grew up in urban areas speak Amharic while Oromo in the rural area speak Oromiffa. Many Oromo refugees prefer to speak Oromiffa because they are proud of being Oromo.
Religion: The Oromo people worship one God, Waaqa. Waaqa is responsible for everything that happens to human beings. Some Oromos in the United States have adopted Islam and Christianity while maintaining the concept of Waaqa. In the Oromo nation, Muslims and Christians have mixed peacefully.
Its said that ancient somalis also used to pray to this waaq, which means somalidu waa iska oromo lumay