While skyping my family back home my younger brother asked if there would be any fireworks being shot off here in Narva on July 4th. Well Hayden, I can definitely confirm that there were no fireworks.
Celebrating such a patriotic holiday that is embedded in our American heritage in a foreign country gives one a new perspective of the holiday. Instead of waking up and preparing for the parade in town I woke up and prepared for another regular day of class. Of course, everyone in the program recognized the day and greeted each other with a “Happy 4th!”, but it’s just not the same. All of the Estonians were going about their normal routines, dressed in normal clothes, and all I could think was how most Americans back home were decked out in their red, white, and blue. But then I also contemplated how many people of different ethnicities must celebrate their national holiday in the US without recognition by the bulk of society. Merely recognizing a day as a holiday is not quite sufficient, especially for a boisterous holiday like the 4th of July. The people partaking in the great past-times of the holiday are what make that holiday. So like any good American, we still celebrated the day of our nation’s independence and wore our colors proudly. Being in a different country did not in any way impede us from celebrating the 4th of July, it just forced us to be more creative in our celebration. It may have lacked the fireworks, and a few other 4th of July essentials, but I still think we made America proud. And, for all you reading this back home, not to worry, we will be hosting a proper celebration and cook out this coming Wednesday!