Independence Day

Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
1
17
22
Trip End Dec 19, 2012


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Zambia  ,
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's hard to believe Zambia is only forty-eight years old, five years older than me. Even harder to believe that, given the life expectancy of people here, there aren’t many citizens old enough to remember independence itself.

In Livingstone, it’s a night-before-and-a-full-day event, including parades (I think most of the city was marching in the parade), speeches, and dancing, all at the same time in different parts of a huge field. If there was a schedule, no one I talked to knew what it was (or cared), and participants included anyone who showed up wanting to do something. There were groups everywhere dancing, drumming, and singing.

My favourite moment came during one of the speeches. Suddenly, a thousand kids started running across the field shouting, only to run the other way again screaming, chased by a man in a 6-foot mask. He chased them all over the field.

It was a fun afternoon. We heard part of the story of independence and the first leaders, and ate a few things I didn’t recognize, but which were tasty. I got caught in some of the running away from the guy in the 6-foot mask (a flood of kids), and got pushed to the front of a mass of people, mere inches from the dancers in the middle (and got my toes whacked by a guy driving us all back to give them room).

Zambia doesn’t have a whole lot to celebrate – hard times for people here (I’ll have much more to say about this later) – but when they do, it’s a great time, very happy, very welcoming.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: