I think living abroad and being a little more patriotic than a local resident is a natural thing. You miss every occasion and every party. Every special moment is a little bit different when celebrated in your very own people who speak the same language and share the same values. However, while living abroad, the biggest challenge is to find the similar community who share the same traditions.
14th August has always been a special day in every Pakistani’s life.
When I used to live in a small town, there was no big Pakistani community around. As a result, such important days would pass by like any other. The most I’d do was wear a traditional green and white dress and put a badge. Or I’d sit in front of the T.V. listening to patriotic songs. Maybe I’d cook something special.
However, ever since we moved, we found a larger Pakistani community to gel with.
It’ll be our third consecutive year attending the Jashan-e-Azadi function which aims to let our kids know about Pakistan. The show comprises of quizzes, tableau performances, speeches, regional dress show, national songs, and cake cutting ceremony in the end.
Additionally, the Ambassador of Pakistan is always the chief guest of the program.
It gives me great honor to be able to teach my children about their culture.
For the first time, I am preparing my son to prepare for the Under-7 quiz. He is going to be 5 this month.
Since there is no official holiday abroad, this function is held on the very next weekend after 14th August.
This time, it is scheduled for the 19th. Our friends are planning it, and are really excited about this year’s function too. Last year, I also volunteered for the committee management of the event. We all tried our best to make the event successful and even better than last year.
Besides this, there are other occasions hosted by other overseas Pakistani societies that are related to Independence Day.
Basant Mela and Meena Bazar. All these events are scheduled in August and the Independence Day theme is also kept in mind for every function. Every year, I ask my kids’ nano and dado to buy some flags, badges, some souvenirs and national dresses for kids and for me.
I really want to transfer that national spirit and enthusiasm to my kids so that this date and our beloved country become just as important for them.
This is my story, all the way from Sweden. If you’re spending Independence Day abroad, I’d love to know how you celebrate it. And if you’re back home in Pakistan, just know that you’re really, really lucky.
Cover image via Sana Younas