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Different Ways Other Countries Celebrate Their Independence Day

Different Ways Other Countries Celebrate Their Independence Day

As we are all aware of, there has been a strong display of racial tensions and police brutality that continues to divide the United States. We have now landed on a particular day to commemorate our independence from the British, the same day we traditionally celebrate every year – whether it be with our family, friends or loved ones. This year is quite different in our opinion, the holiday joys aren’t what it used to be and people’s spirits have been tainted and battle tested. It begs one to ask one of the most fundamental questions “Are we actually, as a country, truly free?”

As a way to help people get back into the spirit of things and understand how travel helps us to appreciate our many differences as human beings, here are a couple of countries we can learn from their many different ways of celebrating their Independence Day and how they fought to liberate their people.

Singapore

 

 

When: August 9th

National Day of Singapore is celebrated in commemoration of Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965.

Celebrations: Features a National Day Parade, an address by the Prime Minister of Singapore, followed by fireworks and celebrations. The entire city dresses for the occasion with flags lining the buildings, patriotic songs blasting on the radio, people decked out in red and white, and a huge National Day Parade. To top off the night, there is a giant fireworks show that sets off from Marina Bay.

India

 

 

When: August 15th

Independence Day, one of the three National holidays in India; The other two holidays are Republic Day and  Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, January 26th and October 2nd respectively. Independence Day is observed in all Indian states and union territories where everyone has the day “off”. .

Celebrations: On August 15th the Prime Minister raises the Indian flag and twenty-one gunshots are fired off in honor of the solemn occasion. The Prime Minister gives a speech that highlights the country’s achievements over the past year, along with raising important issues and discussing the upcoming year. He pays tribute to the leaders of the Indian independence movement. In state capitals, Chief Ministers of individual states unroll the national flag and celebrate with parades and historical-themed pageants. Kite flying is also an Independence Day tradition, with a multitude of different sized and shaped kites coloring the sky.

 

Mexico

 

 

When: September 16th

Día de la Independencia is a Mexican holiday celebrating the “Cry of Independence” from the Spaniards, which started a revolt that kicked off the country’s independence on September 16, 1810.

Celebrations: Independence Day is celebrated with festivals, fireworks, bell-ringing, tons of parties, traditional Mexican food, dance and music. Flags, flowers and decorations in the colors of the Mexican flag – red, white and green – cover the public areas of cities and towns throughout Mexico. “Viva Mexico” or “Viva la independencia” is shouted with pride among the crowds and fiestas.

 

Ghana

 

 

When: March 6th

Ghana gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1957 and became the first colonized sub-Saharan African nation to do so.

Celebrations: The country commemorates its independence with fireworks, parades, and marches. Ghanaian music is a very integral part of their celebrations. The coastal regions celebrate Independence Day on the beach with music and dances that marry the elements of West African tradition with hip hop music.

 

Ukraine

 

 

When: August 24th

Ukraine was part of the Union of the U.S.S.R. up until December 1, 1991, when around 90 percent of Ukrainians voted for their country’s independence.

Celebrations: Citizens of Ukraine get dressed up in traditional clothing and join the crowd on the streets of Lviv, Ukraine’s cultural capital. There is an annual international folklore festival called Etnovyr that showcases a variety of performing arts programs, exhibitions, and a variety of traditional street foods. Buildings across the country are adorned in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag to commemorate the country’s Independence.

 

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By Aimee Kuge


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Taking a Solo Road Trip During Coronavirus

As we are all aware, travel for many of us has drastically changed. We are all trying to adjust to the new normal while also trying to live a resemblance of our lives from months ago. As places continue to open up, whether it be hotels or restaurants, more of us continue to look for ways to travel while easily practicing social distancing and good hygiene guidelines post-COVID-19.

One of the best ways to do so is a weekend road trip getaway as we adjust to COVID-19. You can safety isolate yourself in the car while being on the American Road – feeling the breeze kiss your face, the soft touch of the searing wheel in your hands and the freedom it provides  – its not forget it is a great excuse for a change of scenery. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your road trip.

Happy friends travelling in campervan

Understand the risk

Traveling involves frequently moving from from one destination to the next. You’re exposed to many public spaces and surfaces from every door knob you touch to every gas pump you hold to every chair you sit on. The more you move the more you become exposed. Being mindful of what you touch versus how many times you sanitize or wash your hands makes all of the difference. It is better to wear gloves when touching the public gas pump and switch to only cashless transactions to minimize touching openly available surfaces.

Look to travel to cities with the lowest COVID-19 cases and break them into towns or counties like Northeastern states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Philadelphia, & DC. Make sure your car is in shape, by getting it serviced or inspected to avoid any unnecessary issues during your trip. Make sure to understand the highways you’ll be on, the states you’ll be crossing into and any travel advisories you need to be aware of.

Bring your own supplies

Make sure to always have your hand sanitizers and mask on you everywhere you go. It is also good to have any disinfecting wet wipes, and disposable gloves if or when additional cleaning and sanitizing is needed. Loading up on a case of water and snacks helps to decease the numbers of stops you’ll have to re-load on refreshments.

Make your travel plans flexible

Traveling during uncertain times anything can change in the blink of an eye. A place you just traveled to can be become an outbreak epicenter the very next day. Plan your trips with the mindset that you may either have to make last minute changes or cancel altogether. 

Practice social distancing at your hotel

Every hotel continues to enforce their own mask-wearing requirements, social distancing guidelines, cleaning procedures and how many guests are allowed on a given night. Make sure to understand how and what your hotel is doing to make sure you are as safe as possible. To take it a step further, call or email your hotel before either arrival or even booking. They will be more than happy to help you better understand their new safety policies currently in place. Some new changes include eliminating lobby seatings, contactless check-ins and check-outs and keyless entry – allowing you to turn your smartphone into your room key. Consider turning down housekeeping services to decrease the number of people come in and out of your room. 

Be Kind and Show Empathy

While hotels are doing the best they can possibly do, guests need to also do their part in keeping their shared environment safe. Hotel staffs are human beings too and we as a collective travel community are here together. Know that every new guests brings in more potential germs into their place of work. It is your duty to make sure your hometown isn’t currently dealing with an outbreak before you decide to travel or you run the risk of spreading it to another town or city. This is the real reality are all dealing with, we  have a responsibility towards each to do the right  thing and play our part for everyone’s safety.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re taking a road trip soon during Coronavirus, this is the perfect time to embrace and discover nature, enjoy some me-time on the road, or a read a new book on a rooftop during sunrise. If you love food, look into trying out the local cuisines with their own rich history. Do your part, practice social distancing guidelines, sanitize and wash your hands after every public encounter, show empathy, embrace and adopt to new changes while traveling responsibly.

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By Chizoba Anyaoha


Have an awesome road trip story to share with us? Share it with us @travsolo or submit your story above today!