Independence Day

30 Jun

Red, white and blue for the big day

It won’t be long before stripes and stars make an outfit, the American National Anthem rings through parade float speakers, and the night sky explodes with light. Come Monday, patriotism will be a priority, and nationalism, a prerequisite. The Fourth of July in America is a day of celebration, and we celebrate Independence.

Independence is an amazing and powerful thing (certainly worth celebrating) but I urge against interchanging Independence for Isolation. On a day that honors everything American, I find it important to look, also, to the modern, interconnected America whose influence lacks clear borders. Because today we Skype with friends in India, do business with artisans in Colombia, and grab lunch with visitors from Spain.

So, in thinking about the fast-approaching Fourth, I also think deeply about the meaning–and the varied meanings–of Independence around the world. What does it really mean for a Nation or a community or a person to be independent?

Rosa, one of the Hope For Women artisans in Colombia

Nineteen countries celebrate their Independence this month: from Rwanda to Slovakia to Colombia, where Hope For Women artisans are working right now to create beautiful products under fair conditions. For many of these women, Independence day commemorates more than National identity. For many of them, a partnership with Hope For Women meant better health, real job security, and ultimately, personal independence.

Between today and July 20th (the day of Colombia’s National Celebration) Hope For Women will be spotlighting individual experiences of independence. We spoke with three Colombian artisans who want to share their stories with you, and each week, we will feature a new artisan tale here on our blog. Check back in with us every Tuesday to see the stories unfold.

Hope For Women wishes you a reflective, conscientious, and fun Fourth of July celebration. While you’re cuddling under the fireworks show or suiting up for a playful game of ball, take a moment to think of what this day means for you, while pondering a global perspective on independence.


2 Responses to “Independence Day”


  1. Artisans and Independence: The Second of Three Stories from Colombia « - July 12, 2011

    […] marks Week Two in Hope For Women’s focus on Independence (check out this blog post for more information on our Independence Spotlight). With both American and Colombian Independence […]

  2. Colombian Independence Day: ¬°Felicidades! « - July 20, 2011

    […] two and a half weeks, Hope For Women is closing out our Independence Series. It has been so rewarding to share the unique and beautiful stories of three Hope For Women […]

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