Monday, 1 December 2014

National Day 43


December 2 is the UAE's National Day. Forty-three years ago, the Emirates joined together and founded the country of the United Arab Emirates. National Day is a big celebration. The city becomes awash in the national flag, the colours red, green, white and black are everywhere. People decorate their cars in the national colours and pictures of the rulers. It's basically a big party and everyone's invited.

Today at school, one of my girls dressed in an abaya (the black national dress) and the other in the colours of the flag. They will dance and eat party food with their friends. There will be performances and they'll do art and craft. There may be camel rides and falcon displays. There will definitely be henna painting. 

In the complex where we live there will be a big party tonight. There's jumping castles, local displays, henna painting, lots and lots of food. There will be traditional dancers, coffee and dates. Of course, there will be lots of fireworks.

I love UAE National Day, there is immense pride from the Emiratis for their country. What I love most is that everyone is invited to feel the same pride and join in the celebrations. I'm not Emirati and never will be, but I feel lucky to share in this country. I'm thankful for the wonderful life this country is giving our family. I'm amazed at the hospitality the Emiratis share with the expats.

If we decide to go out and be part of the celebrations tomorrow, I won't need to worry about drunken yobs telling me to go back to where I came from. Instead there will be a look of pride from the locals that others are sharing in their culture. Because of this I know that this country will always hold a special place with me. How much better would the world be if others could adopt this way of thinking? The best way to create loyalty is share with each other. Next month we will celebrate Australia Day here and share a little bit of our culture and we'll all be richer for it.

Happy National Day!



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