Family, friends and fireworks

American Independence Day

Family, friends and fireworks

Independence is important to people of all nationalities and the American Independence Day, which falls on July 4, is a celebration of this spirit. Expats from the USA, who are currently settled in Bangalore, have big plans for the day. Some of them share their sentiments about the day with Metrolife.

For most Americans, the day is a celebration of freedom. Jonathan Iverson from Florida, whose family has been in the military for generations, is no exception. Jonathan lives with wife Maggie and their daughters in the City. “This is our second July 4 in the City. Last year, we had a barbecue party on the terrace with some friends and grilled some chicken and burgers.

The kids played with sparklers,” he says. Jonathan says that back home, July 4 meant a trip to Disneyland to see the fireworks and then a visit to the beach to witness more fireworks, a picnic supper and drinks. “Since everyone’s usually busy on weekdays, we have planned to celebrate on July 6 as it’ll be the weekend. A few friends will be meeting at another friend’s place and we will have a cookout,” reveals Jonathan.

Others believe that it’s all about celebrating the tradition in the best way possible. Scott McKay, a chief technical officer who hails from Massachusetts, says, “When I was home I used to take my son to a carnival in Lexington. July 4 is never complete without the fireworks and we would go to watch them from the MIT campus. The weekend would be about barbecuing and meeting with family and friends.” Scott says that in Bangalore, he celebrates the occasion with a few friends.

“Any country which has had a revolution will be able to understand the importance of such a day. Apart from missing my family, it won’t be a big change to celebrate here,” he adds. Talking about his plans for the day, Scott says, “I’m not sure at the moment but it’s my company’s birthday on the same day. I’ll either celebrate with the group there or with some other friends.”

Juel Woerter, a singer and event manager who hails from Miami, has been in the City with her family for two years. “July 4, for us, is about meeting friends, barbecue and having a good time. We have a group of like-minded friends here and thus, it isn’t a big difference to celebrate it in Bangalore,” she says. “Besides, things can get boring sometimes, so we are open to celebrating the day with new people. This year, a friend’s birthday falls on the same day, so we will probably mix the two occasions,” she adds.

Bob, Juel’s husband, jokes, “Back home, July 4 means no work. That isn’t the case here. Also, Bangalore doesn’t have good hot dogs. And paneer burgers really don’t make up for the beef ones.” He quickly adds, “But the day is about family, friends and tradition and that can be observed anywhere.”

Elizabeth Bowden-David’s restaurant Habanero, which has branches in Indiranagar and Whitefield, will be hosting a bash for the occasion. Elizabeth, who is from Alabama, says, “In the US, July 4 is a major holiday, but a very laid-back one. People love to get together with friends and family and grill outdoors, have a picnic or take a swim. At the restaurant, we will try to stay true to some of these traditions by serving grill platters and beer and by having live bands perform.”

Ask this expat if the essence of the day is lost when celebrated in a different country and she says, “It’s a wonderful celebration wherever you are. It’s a very inclusive holiday, so it’s fun to celebrate with people of all nationalities.”

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