On September 22, 2013 in Belize
You would think you were at a wedding reception dancing the night away to an Earth, Wind and Fire cover band every time you hear their top-of-the-charts tune about the 21st of September. Released in 1978, the track builds up and unleashes a thrilling happiness that comes from pure freedom. ~The groove is right and night is alllllright~ It was the month of September when composer and lyricist banded together. One had influenced the other, but both had been on a roll with spiritual inspiration when they produced the song that would remain a legacy. And while few theories circulate about the significance of the 21st of September, the truth is, it just sounded phonetically right. “Do you remember the 21st night of September? Love was changing the minds of pretenders, while chasing the clouds away. Our hearts were singing, in the key that our souls were singing…as we danced in the night away.” This song is undoubtedly the ultimate feel-good song.
As we celebrated the 32nd anniversary of Belizean independence yesterday, we all enjoyed the accoutrements of Independence Day -the colorful parade, the fireworks, the parties, the reason to gather. We had taught our school children the vital history of September 21st and mark it as the day to raise our flag and celebrate. What we often feel but understate, no matter where in the world, is the sheer feel-good sentiment of being independent and being free, the exact feeling you get from relishing in your favorite feel-good song! Tracing the roots of Belize Independence, we find that it was 20-year buildup of drawn out negotiations over a land dispute with Guatemala. A previous treaty awarded Belize more land under specific conditions which Guatemala claimed were never met. Great Britain had long acknowledged Belize’s anticipation for self-governance since 1961 when Belize sought the world stage for recognition and support. During that same period, Colonialism had already come to a wane, but Guatemala’s border dispute with Belize prolonged its independence as it required Great Britain’s protection against Guatemala’s threat of force. After 20 years of negotiations and lobbying within the United Nations, Belize became an independent nation. Unlike The Earth, Wind and Fire, the 21st of September is a day of particular significance which trickles down from history as the day to celebrate independence and reflect on some of the pure things are simply universal. The right to be free. The right to be independent. The right to self-govern. The right to party.
Happy Independence Day Belize! We had a great day!