Understanding Independence Celebrations: A patriot’s mastery test

     
 
  

Independence always marks the birth of a new country and a point of departure from the old tradition. Independence Day therefore is a national day because everybody does not work on such a Day.

Independence festivities are done in memory of heroic victories against colonisation. This Day reminds the citizens of the lowering of the colonial flag and the hoisting of the national one. By national flag I do not imply the flag of the party that ascends to power.  Independence Day pertains to accepting the legacies of cultural diversities namely: political, educational, social, spiritual or economic domains.In many progressive societies this Day’s activities signify and tend to activate the bond of cultural diversity that arises by honouring both Traditional and Political Authorities. Independence celebrations become comprehensive if a national garb is clad so as to tally with the prevailing situation. Perhaps people should become aware of the fact that political attires on occasions like these prevent maximum possible attendance. Independence celebrations do not necessarily involve only members of one political party to attend or show the slogans of the party in power. In actual fact when citizens celebrate independence they rejoice in the values on which their country was founded. In the Namibian case people recall and celebrate such values like: unity, liberty and justice. These values entrench the patriotic momentum of the celebration. Patriotism is the love one has for his/her national flag above those of individual political parties. Be it as it may independence celebrations require moving from old fashioned way of wielding political prowess to accepting contemporary ways that rather unite more than disunite people.In order to have celebrations full of substance and patriotism, the following are noteworthy:

Displaying of national flag from house roofs, cars, bike, scooter is a grand sign of patriotism

Dressing up patriotically by putting on clothes that have a national flag

Watching local parades

Enjoying picnics with friends

Be active during the occasion

Make crafts for independence

Pop up fireworks

These elements promote meaningful and uncensored festivities. Nonetheless they also make them alive and enjoyable without strings attached. Too often many independence celebrations always lose direction and mar the values that keep nations to move in peace. More often than not the celebrations always turn out to be orchestrated by single party politics than multi-dimensional. This means that the songs that are sung, the words that are used, the clothes that are put on and the slogans that are used will always tell what occasion is being celebrated. If on such an occasion of Independence Day the only flags that are hoisted are the National flag and the Continental flag respectively, it is illogical and completely unsound for attendants to be clad in political garbs and brandshing political slogans of a ruling party. It is high time that people learn to honour national flags on such occasions more than political colours of respective parties, some political party carders are addicted to. As nations citizens should brace themselves with non-warlike approaches towards independence celebrations and craft legendary methods of enjoying these National Days. National Days are not owned by any single party.

These Days shall continue to exist even when the party that helped found such Days are out of power. UNIP was the first party to rule Zambia and was the party that brought independence to that country. Now that UNIP is out power and the Patriotic Front is in power, can UNIP stand up and say ‘hey Patriotic Front you are not allowed to celebrate on the 24th of October because that Day was made possible because of us? Parties come and go but the Days remain. Ruling the country is not like chieftainship.Today’s opposition party is the next day’s ruling party and vice-versa. I have a strong belief that if crafted democracies are to be sustained, it should be accepted that societies as they appear to be today are heterogeneous and politically pluralistic. As such the use of racist and fascist driven language, showing off of political slogans, and putting on party colours on Independence Day should progressively fall into radical disuse. History has it that Negroid Africans are lovers of extended families. This love can transcend insurmountable heights to loving the entire nation and indeed the global community. Families as the birthmark of stable societies are also creators of genuine patriotic democracies as central pillars of generous love. Loving humanity regardless is the cornerstone of inspirational patriotism and the living fountain of waters of national renaissance. Changing habitual ways of celebrating National Days can change pseudo-democracies to full-fledged genuine democracies.  In the contemporary Africa the notion of Pan-Africanism can be meaningless if National Days are seen to be owned by some political parties other than as means to strengthen the spirit of Ubuntu and classless societies. When slogans are used and party attires are put on such Days, divisions are more likely to be intensified than creating a society that is abound in love and neighbourliness. The youths of this world should help change this practice for the common good. National Days may not be used as political promotion platforms.

THE CHANGE IS NOW!

Author :

Matongela Robert Tapiso


 


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