At 9.98 million square kilometres in size, Canada is the world’s second-largest country in the world (by total area). This North American country boasts a population of 35.5 million. Canada gained its independence from Britain in a typically peaceful manner on July 1st, 1867 via the British North America Act. The Canada Act in 1982 severed the final vestiges of legal dependence on the British Parliament. Most communities will celebrate Canada Day by hosting organized, outdoor public events such as parades, carnivals, festivals, BBQs, air and/or maritime shows, fireworks and free musical concerts – or some mix thereof. Citizenship ceremonies are frequently hosted for new citizens. Ottawa, the capital of Canada, will host a televised event consisting of concerts and addresses by many Canadians, ending with a fantastic fireworks show.
With a population of 8.7 million and a size of 27,834km2, the African nation of Burundi will ,celebrate its independence from Belgium, which occurred in 1962. This day sees political leaders making speeches about past and future, military parading to tunes of marching band, gymnasts diving through burning hoops, and people indulging in traditional drumming and dancing.
Rwanda will also remember it’s independence from Belgium (1962) on July 1st. Interestingly, they also celebrate a Liberation Day on July 4th. Each date has its own significance and each should be studied carefully. This African country has an area of 26,338 km2 and a population of 12 million. John Kerry has issued a statement of best wishes for the 52nd anniversary of Rwandan independence – see it here!
Somalia, a country located on the Horn of Africa consists of 10 million people in an area of 637,657 square kilometres. July 1st represents the independence of both the former Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland and the unity of these two nations. Somalia was formerly best known as the Land of Punt by the Egyptians and in the Bible. In recent history, Somalia has been associated with pirates, warlords and the militia. First nation countries dumped their chemical waste in their waters, ruining the fishing industry and turning peaceful fisherman into pirates who, in turn, disrupted many international trade routes and singlehandedly increased the cost of wages, insurance and security for any company shipping near the Horn of Africa. Independence day is celebrated with speakers from the government, musicians, invited guests and many others participating in ceremonies. If you would like to learn more about Somalia, you should check out Analysing Global Trends for Business and Society for some fantastic insight!
Belarus is a European nation that celebrates Independence day on July 3rd but in this case, they are celebrating the independence of the country, but of Minsk from German Occupation in 1944. The decision to celebrate Independence Day on July 3, the day of the liberation of Belarus from the Nazis, was made during the 1996 national referendum proposed by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. The Independence Day celebrations also include military and civil processions, concerts, and other festivities throughout the country. The day finally comes to an end with a display of fireworks gracing the sky. There are approximately 9.5 million people living within the 207,595 km2 that makes up Belarus.
Independence Day in the United States is often portrayed as the quintessential celebration of life, liberty and freedom. Although declared in 1776, Independence wasn’t completely gained from Great Britain until 1783. The United States of America is 9,826,675 km2 – making it the third or fourth largest country in the world (it’s often debated whether the USA or China is in third place for size) and houses at least 318 million people – making it the most populous country celebrating its Independence this week! The Fourth of July is celebrated in various ways around the country. Celebrations comprise of parades, BBQs, fireworks, carnivals, fairs, concerts, political speeches and ceremonies all in praise of the freedom and greatness of the country.
Venezuela is a South American country that will be celebrating 203 years of independence from Spain in 2014! Consisting of 28 million people in an area of 916,445 km2, Venezuelans will be celebrating with fireworks, family gatherings, cultural shows, street parties, and parades.
Algeria is our last stop this week! This African nation is the tenth largest in the world – coming in at 2,381,741 km2! With 38.7 million people there is bound to be a diverse and interesting culture! Independence day is celebrated with passion – with Algerians taking to the streets and attending celebrations wearing the national colour – green! There are military parades in Algiers and concerts and cultural events are organized in the national stadium. Algeria gained its independence from France in 1962.
Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario, have, since the 1950s, celebrated both Canada Day and the United States’ Independence Day with the International Freedom Festival; a massive fireworks display over the Detroit River, the strait separating the two cities, is held annually with hundreds of thousands of spectators attending. A similar event occurs at the Friendship Festival, a joint celebration between Fort Erie, Ontario, and neighbouring Buffalo, New York, and towns and villages throughout Maine, New Brunswick, and Quebec come together to celebrate both anniversaries together.
Want to learn more about Global issues? There are several courses available that are of particular interest – to share just a few this week: