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Independence Day around the World!

Global Immersions Recruiting - Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July! We’re lucky to be in one of America’s most historically significant cities, and there is so much to share on this day with your visitor! Bring them to your family barbecue, watch your town’s fireworks display, walk the Freedom Trail - nothing demonstrates American culture better than Boston on Independence Day! But the United States is not the only country to celebrate its independence. Many other countries celebrate becoming an independent nation in a variety of ways; check it out! 

Indian Independence Day 

In India, Independence Day is on August 15, 1947. Flag-hoisting and national anthem singing are key components of marking the occasion. Elementary school students tell the stories of revolutionary heroes and learn about the struggles which brought their country independence.

All the schools and colleges across nation hoist the national flag on the rooftops and the buildings to symbolize the nation's pride. Not only the educational institutions but also offices and business areas celebrate this day. Since it is declared a national holiday by the government of India, all the institutions, government or otherwise, have the day off. People only go to offices to attend the flag hoisting ceremony. The Prime Minister addresses the Nation after the flag has been unfurled and recounts the country's achievements of the year, discussing current major issues and future plans for the progress of the country. Kite-flying has also become a tradition on this day and people can be seen flying numerous kites of all colors, sizes and shapes symbolizing the freedom.

Independence Day is celebrated throughout India and every corner of the country. Independence Day is celebrated by every citizen of India irrespective of caste, creed and religion. There are costume parties and people, old or young, men or women, dress up in a nationalistic way. There are many documentaries aired and the graves of revolutionary heroes are paid respect. Every citizen does something or the other to mark this day of freedom. Most of TV channels telecast latest or classic films based on an independence theme. Also, there are patriotic programs that are organized and broadcasted. In short, every person in the country takes part in showing national pride.

Mexican Independence Day

On September 16, 1810, a progressive priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla became the father of Mexican independence with a historic proclamation urging his fellow Mexicans to take up arms against the Spanish government. Known as the “Grito de Dolores,” Hidalgo’s declaration launched a decade-long struggle that ended 300 years of colonial rule, established an independent Mexico and helped cultivate a unique Mexican identity. Its anniversary is now celebrated as the country’s birthday.

Although September 16, 1810, marked the beginning of Mexico’s struggle for independence rather than its ultimate achievement, the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores has been a day of celebration across Mexico since the late 19th century. The holiday begins on the evening of September 15 with a symbolic reenactment of Hidalgo’s historic proclamation by the president of the republic and the governor of each state. The next day, typical activities include parades, bullfights, rodeos and traditional dancing. In 2010, in honor of the country’s bicentennial, the remains of 12 men who fought for Mexican independence—including Hidalgo, Morelos, Matamoros and Guerrero—were exhumed in a military ceremony led by President Felipe Calderón.

Many non-Mexicans, particularly in the United States, often mistake the Cinco de Mayo holiday for a celebration of Mexican independence; instead, it commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican War

Indonesian Independence 

Indonesia celebrates its independence day on August 17th, celebrating its independence from the Netherlands in 1945. Although this declaration was met with vehement opposition from the Dutch rulers, in 1949 the Dutch officially recognized the independence of Indonesia. 

In preparation for the celebration, the malls and area around the presidential building is decorated with red and white streamers. Unique decorations are put up in the area between Jl. Thamrin and Jl. Sudirman and are meant to reflect the spirit of independence. Neighborhood associations arrange kerja bakti or community service which includes cleaning the residential areas. The residents are also requested to hoist flags for the duration of the holiday. Finally, on the eve of Independence Day, the President delivers addresses the nation. 

On Independence Day, celebrations begin with a flag hoisting ceremony in the presidential place. High school students are chosen from across the country to put on a show while the Indonesian flag is hoisted. This is followed by parades and activities for the public, such as Krupuk (shrimp chips) eating, bike decorating, and cooking contests. One of the popular games played on this day is Panjat Pinang in which participants climb the greased trunk of an Areca palm tree. 

United States Independence

For every American, the independence day of the United States is an eagerly awaited holiday. Commonly known as the Fourth of July, it is federal holiday that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.

Here in Boston, the city celebrates with the Boston Pops Spectacular. Everyone gathers at the Charles River and listens to the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform, along with other guest artists. Once the performance reaches its peak, fireworks are set off and soldiers fire cannons (harmlessly!) over the river. During the day, the area is covered in tents and booths with various vendors and activities. There is never a lack of anything to do while in the city!

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