By Bereket Kidane,
It’s that time of year again.
Eritrea’s celebratory and commemorative month is upon us. Glad to see Eritrean communities around the world have started planning their Independence Day parties to honor Eritrea’s birthday.
The 30-day period starting with the run-up to Independence Day on May 24 to Martyr’s Day on June 20 is Eritrea’s most patriotic month. The atmosphere inside and outside of Eritrea can be summed-up as that of patriotism, pride in the Eritrean State and an increased determination to honor the sons and daughters of Eritrea who fell in the armed struggle for the creation of a sovereign Eritrean State and in its defense against Weyane’s invasion.
It begins with unabashed flag-waving, partying, dancing and carnivals during Independence Week in celebration of Eritrea’s birthday in May and ends with somberness and sadness in remembrance of Eritrea’s fallen heroes in June. There is a noticeable mood swing during the 30-day period. From partying to tear-jerking. Martyr’s Day is the most melancholy day on the Eritrean calendar.
During this celebratory and commemorative month, Eri-TV’s schedule is interspersed with documentaries of the armed struggle and live-transmitted ceremonies from various municipalities across Eritrea. The testimonials from the families and fellow tegadeltis of Eritrea’s fallen heroes often make you reach for your handkerchief. There are stories of Eritrean mothers with four or five martyred kids. The strength these mothers show is amazing! They have lost so much and yet their hearts are filled only with pride and joy during this special month.
The anti-Eritrea forces go haywire at the sight of Eritrean unity and collective spirit during this special month. They start spewing all sorts of nonsense. But to Eritreans at home and abroad, in every corner of this globe from Australia to the Middle East to Europe and the Americas, the entire month is a special time. It is a time when we celebrate Eritrea while reminding ourselves of the sacrifices that went into creating the Eritrean State and the covenant we have made with the fallen sons and daughters of Eritrea and their families.