Celebrating Eritrea at 23

Every Eritrean knows and understands how the country became a reality … and that’s why we celebrated it with zeal and passion

Eritrea @23
Eritrea @23

By Bereket Kidane,

THIS month will mark Eritrea’s 23rd birthday! Glad to see Eritrean communities around the world have started planning their Independence Day parties. For most countries, the 23rd birthday elicits a shrug of the shoulders. Not in Eritrea’s case.

Taking Eritrea’s remarkable history into account, each birthday is a cause for celebration – and admiration. Its birth in the first place was a miracle and a result of the long and heroic armed struggle waged against all odds.

What makes this year’s Independence Day celebration particularly exciting for the diaspora communities is that May 24 falls on Saturday.  That means that Eritreans in the diaspora will be celebrating Independence Day at the same time as Eritreans at home! In most years, the only way to celebrate Eritrea’s birthday on the actual day of May 24 is if you go to Eritrea only. Most diaspora communities celebrate Independence Day on a weekend in order to attract a larger crowd. There is a good chance you will be watching live televised celebrations on Eri-TV this year while you yourself are celebrating in your respective city.

On its 23rd birthday Eritrea continues to be a work-in-progress but has achieved quite a lot in the face of adversity and determined enemies. It continues to fill us all with awe and admiration.

There is now an entire generation of young Eritreans born and raised in a sovereign nation. The world has begrudgingly accepted the fact that Eritrea needs Ethiopia as much as a fish needs a bicycle. Indeed, Eritrea’s national character of resilience and steadfastness continues to make a fool of doomsday experts.

Last year’s Independence Week theme “Mekhete DirE’na, Sirah Kibretna” was a successful one. I don’t know what this year’s theme will be but it certainly ought to celebrate all the success Eritrean athletes are having on the international stage. Meb Kflizghi or Merhawi Kudus should be the honored guests of the state.

No matter what part of the globe you live in, Independence Day celebration is always a fantastic event that bring Eritreans from all walks of life together to show their pride and support of the Eritrean State. This year, in 2014, Eritrea’s birthday celebrations as usual will be relished by the more than 5 million Eritreans around the world, for it is a day when the entire nation remembers its debt and expresses its gratitude to its sons and daughters who gave their lives for the achievement of independence and its continued existence.

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