The Fourth of July

Holiday’s mark the important days in such a way that it helps cement our identity. We know who we are based on the things we celebrate. As Americans our freedom and individuality shows up on the big summer holiday where we celebrate independence, Independence Day. I don’t want this to get into the why of the celebration specific to this day, but to remark that as we mark the special days of the year we reinforce our values and identity.

Today, we celebrate the 4th of July with friends and family. We get to Bar-B-Que, listen to baseball, go swimming, and watch fireworks. We get to participate in those activities that seem so normal, and yet so abnormal when we are in another country. We make do with what we have, celebrating with a few other Americans. We make the day special even though we are in Bangkok.

I look forward to today’s party atmosphere. As the song goes, ‘I am proud to be an American’. I don’t mean this as to say any other nation is less, but I am glad to be who I am. In the same way, we celebrate our birthday and remember the special qualities that we personally were endowed with. On that day, we are the special one. As the year goes by, somedays are special for personal reasons and others for community reasons and even others for national reasons.

What are the things you might miss if you were living in another culture? Often they are not the things that jump to your mind immediately. What holidays would you miss and wish to hold onto while living in another culture. What parts of your culture would you cherish?

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