The fervent commemorative events that have been taking place for over a week in connection with the 22nd Anniversary of Eritrean Independence Day culminated in a colorful ceremony today May 24, 2013.
In the gathering at Asmara Stadium, ministers, senior government and PFDJ officials, members of the diplomatic community and people from all walks of life attended different shows that went on for over two hours.
The Eritrean people at home and abroad
Dear guests and participants
First, I would like to congratulate the Eritrean people and friends on the occasion of the 22nd Independence Day anniversary and that of the 20th since the nation’s accession to sovereignty. And I commend those who made major contribution in organizing this auspicious event, namely the National Holidays Coordinating Committee, students, youths and EDF members.
My special thanks and welcome also go to our Sudanese brothers here in our midst for this great event, along with my best wishes for unity, stability and prosperity.
When Eritrea got its independence 22 years ago I was old enough to understand the monumental nature of the event. I therefore appreciate and value our independence, and know the cost in blood and toil that led to it, and is still being invested for its preservation.But the spirit of Independence Day is not only about Eritrea officially becoming an independent country. Independence for Eritreans has a far deeper meaning and significance than its lay dictionary definition. It’s about the thousands of brave souls who sacrificed their lives. It’s about the people’s resistance to successive colonial oppressions.
In connection with the 22nd Anniversary of Eritrean Independence Day, an exhibition that showcased the developments of the Eritrean armed struggle was opened Monday May 20, 2013 here in the capital.
Last week, as my friend and I were taking an evening stroll (to my utter reluctance) after a rainy afternoon, we came across a foreigner (presumably a tourist, judging by her backpack and outdoor attire) who was apparently having difficulties obtaining the address of a certain public place from an elderly passerby. We intervened, and offered to show her the way as we were headed on the same direction.
On the way, Ingrid (as her name was) told us that she was a linguist and that has travelled all over the world through her work as a researcher on oral traditions. And even though she was on a vacation to Eritrea with a group, Ingrid said she also wanted to (at least) take a sneak peek at the oral traditions practiced in this “multiethnic country.”
I knew she had done her homework and was well informed because she did bring up the recently inaugurated book of oral traditions in Tigrinya by Solomon Tsehaye. It would probably be an understatement to say she was astounded, when we tried explaining to her what the book was about.