Fourth of July...
I attended my very first 4th of July parade on the year of the Bicentennial of the United States: 1976.
Where I come from, 4th of July is an adopted holiday. For most people, is one more reason to have a party, or to go to the beach. Beaches there are packed on that day! Certainly, a lot people in Puerto Rico are not aware of the significance it has here. Into my teenage years, some areas started to have fireworks on the 4th. I guess it is the byproduct of becoming more and more americanized.
After moving here, it was one of those things, like many others, where I had to adapt and learn, be educated, in "holiday etiquette". Never before had I thought of putting American flags in the yard or wearing red, white and blue on that day, or the days leading to it.
Then, the parades here, with all the patriotism, the standing for flags and marching military personnel, all the stuff and ritual that, to someone foreign to it, may seem a little "cultish". But is to pay tribute to the very concept of freedom that started the holiday.
I suppose, is one of the few things I have allowed myself to become assimilated into. Freedom is a goal and ideal of many countries, not only the United States. As a matter of fact, many come here from other parts of the world seeking that freedom. I don't have a problem celebrating it, and enjoy celebrating it the U.S. style.
It is, after all, another reason to have a party. A party with family and friends. Today, we will hang out at my in-laws. Tonight, we will go watch fireworks. All to celebrate the very freedom that we all strive to accomplish, no matter where you come from. After all, many other countries have their own "Dia de la Independencia", celebrated at different dates...
Feliz Dia de la Independencia!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Fourth of July...