The Eagle Blog

More About Diversity from an Englishman!

I have written about the subject of diversity a few times now … back in February I blogged a little about the regular updates we get from our HR department explaining different “special days” and their importance to different cultures.

The last couple of months I have been struck by a fairly common theme for these special days. If you think about 4th of July as a celebration of Independence from England for the United States it apparently sets the theme for a couple of months!

August sees a few special celebrations of independence … from England!

Pakistan’s Independence Day is observed on August 14 also known as Yaum-e-Azadi. It was on this day in 1947, that Pakistan became independent from British rule, also known as the British Raj. The day is a national holiday in Pakistan. To celebrate this day, flag hoisting ceremonies, tributes to the national heroes, fireworks and cultural programs take place in the provincial capitals. Families and friends get together for lunch or dinner, or for an outing.

India’s Independence Day is celebrated on August 15 to commemorate its independence from British rule and its birth as a sovereign nation on this day in 1947. The day is a national holiday in India. In India’s capital, New Delhi, a colourful pageant showcasing India’s cultural diversity, symbolic depictions of the country’s advances in science and technology, and a joint display of India’s military capabilities by the armed forces are an essential part of the Independence Day celebrations.

Celebration of Independence Day in Afghanistan takes place on August 19th. Afghanistan was an ancient focal point of the Silk Road and migration. It has an important geostrategic location, connecting South and Central Asia and Middle East. Because of this, the land has been a target of various invaders and conquerors, as well as a source from which local powers invaded surrounding regions to form their own empires. On August 19, 1919, following the third Anglo-Afghan war, the country regained full independence from the United Kingdom over its foreign affairs.

Now I was born in England so what am I to think here?

Should I be embarrassed that we were a colonial power that conquered countries and kept them “under the thumb” so to speak.

Should I rally for a new move to repatriate these colonies back where they belong? 🙂

All joking aside reading about these celebrations reminds me about just how fast our world changes and that a celebration of diversity is a good thing. People will strive to create their own cultures as long as there are humans.

Today the Afghan people are at the polls, 90 years after winning independence from Britain. Let’s hope they can soon reach a state where our soldiers are no longer needed to assure their right to peaceful self government!

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