This weekend was the 33rd year celebration of Independence Day in Belize. It was September 21st 1981 that Belize had gained their independence – before it was called British Honduras. A very young country with much potential for success in this globalized world. They welcomed the morning of the 21st with fireworks, concerts and lots of alcohol.
Both the prime minister and opposition leader gave speeches from the capital city, Belmopan, which was interesting to hear. Even during holidays and celebrations, politics don’t seem to give rest. Both speeches talked about the importance of patriotism while the other half of the speech included a lot of thrashing on Dean Barrow’s government from the opposition.
The most popular excitement that day however was the carnival in Orange Walk town – which I had the chance to go. This would be my 2nd carnival in Belize since I had already seen my first one in Belize City last weekend! I really enjoyed both in different ways. Belize City was probably a bigger parade with more steel drum performers while Orange Walk did more marching bands and you were able to stand next to the parade – almost being a part of it. In both carnivals I got my free beers since the trucks handed them out to anyone dancing.
Belizeans love to party. As a single white female during this time of year I did not end up having any bad experiences. Crime rates did escalade – there were more shootings and murders, then in other months – and I was expecting it.
As my first celebration of carnival in the Caribbean and the Independence of Belize were a terrific one. Taking part of the celebration did give me a better sense of Belizean culture that now I feel a little bit more in tune living in the city and Belize.