Happy Independence Day to all United States citizens (and other friends of liberty). I always love this holiday and am somewhat sad to be missing celebrations back home. I'm still in Mexico.
We're doing what I imagine many Americans abroad do -- seek out their fellow countrymen and have a party. My in-laws' next-door neighbors are from the States and they know a few other people who are as well. We'll be barbecuing and having some fun later today. Since this is a big tourist community, we hear that they may have fireworks for the Americans later tonight. I am not entirely sure how that separates tonight from other nights, as fireworks seem to be enjoyed regularly here.
But marking a holiday in a culture that does not is always interesting. Typically I experience this in the U.S., where many Americans don't celebrate the same religious holidays Lutherans and other traditional Christians do. Ascension, Pentecost and many other feast days just don't get the commercialized treatment that Christmas-Superbowl Day-Valentine's Day-Easter get.
When trying to make a day special for your children, you realize how much it helps to have a supportive culture. In the States, we'd simply haul the kids down to the nearest parade and go to our friend's house for fireworks viewing. Here, we have had to explain much more to them about why being American is important and what it means (and I don't think they get it yet, frankly).
Anyway, a special shout-out to Americans who are living abroad or otherwise outside the borders of our great nation. And if you have any tips for how to do it up right while away, let me know!
Fireworks image via Shutterstock.