Happy 4th of July
Happy 4th of July to my American friends!
I have lots now, actually, no tons of American friends. In fact, my entire blogosphere is pretty much made up of awesome Americans, albeit a few. Darla and Laura being the only two Canadians that I know from elsewhere.
The 4th of July has always been a mystery to me. I mean I always knew that Americans celebrate the breaking away from British imperial rule but I never knew exactly why, when or how. So I researched it. I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever been one for celebrating a holiday without truly knowing what it means to us. Perhaps that’s just the way I tick. Anyway. It’s awesome to know that other people have pretty amazing holidays over the pond.
The 4th of July is a holiday based on a fateful day in 1776, that the declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson and approved by congress as the final draft. Declaring Americas Independence from Britain. However, it wasn’t until almost a hundred years later that it became a National holiday. Interesting, huh?
What we lack in Britain is a proper sense of Identity. I’m proud to be British but I wouldn’t call myself a Nationalist. I’m proud that Britain was at the forefront of forward thinking for many, many years. If you delve into your history books you’ll see that Britain pioneered things such as the abolition of slavery and that we patrolled the waters, capturing any slave cargo ships in the area en route to the Americas. Not only were we one of the first countries to recognise slavery for what it is, we were also at the forefront of science, we technically spurred on the industrial revolution.
Yet we seem to abscond from any sort of identity during imperial rule. Yes, some of the things we did as a dominating empire were very cruel and downright nasty, but equally we were at the forefront of innovation, diversity and equality.
That being said, I really do admire America for its sense of identity. Americans are proud, very proud and I enjoy seeing it.
I once visited Ohio for a holiday, to get the idea of what it was like to live in America, and the welcome that I received being someone from a different country was beyond normal. People invited me into their homes, I tasted their liquor, I broke bread with their friends, and I was invited to social gatherings all because they were so extremely proud of where they came from. There was a heartfelt warmth to the patriotism, though. I didn’t feel they were prejudiced towards my culture either. There was a genuine intrigue.
Every second house had the American flag waving from it. When I see the American flag I don’t see what it is now. I see a country that was built on the bones of turmoil, oppression and rose up against tyranny, and has become the forward-thinking, diverse, culturally balanced and industrialised awesome nation that it is now. (albeit trump. Let’s just not talk about that dickhead)
In fact, I’ve never known a more welcome, open-hearted and warm culture than the Americans. My blogosphere, for example, I was unilaterally welcomed with open arms and hearts, and again, the somewhat curiousness of my culture and lifestyle eats away at them. I can feel the inquisitiveness as I speak, it’s lovely to see.
So I’ll be celebrating the 4th of July this year too. Not because I’m American, or that I hate my British heritage but because I want to take part in celebrating a holiday that’s all about culture, open-mindedness and happiness.