On Monday the 21st of July, it was the national day of Belgium. As I learnt from prof. Wiki,
“it commemorates an event on 21 July 1831 in which Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg swore allegiance to the new Belgian constitution, thus becoming the first King of the Belgians.”
I arrived quite late to the festivities, so luckily I missed the military parade. I also happened to miss any and all folkloric programmes that were advertised, while of the military and other related bodies I had more than enough, what with their endless stands and exhibits (tanks and suchlike, you know…)
I had some fries, went to see a concert, went back to see the fireworks – I must admit they were quite nice, even under the rain (yes, it was raining, that is part of the National Day tradition, or so I’m told). Then did some rounds to get back to the parc where I had left my bike and went home, soaked.
Now, I might lack the descriptive power when it comes to facts, but I do love other people’s holidays. As a foreigner, especially here where I don’t even speak the language(s), I see nothing of the political conflicts underneath, even if I know they exist.
What I see there is something festive, it’s people wishing each other a “nice holiday”, it’s people who belong, together. Even here.