May 09, 2017

#05-040: July Independence Days - Part I

map of eastern Africa with Somalia, Rwanda, and Burundi marked
Rwanda, Burundi, and Somalia all became independent on July 1

Note: Forty-four of the world's Independence Days--some 35% of the 126--occur in July and August. See some of them in this lesson.

Get Ready: When is your country's Independence Day, or National Day? How is it celebrated?

In various countries around the world there are no fewer than 126 holidays called "Independence Day" (sometimes with words such as "National" in front of the words). This does not count those with different formulations, such as Ecuador's "Declaration of Independence of Quito."

Like America's "Fourth of July," many of these take place in the northern hemisphere's summer months of July and August. These two months have 44 such days, a disproportionate 35% of the total.

Deep winter, on the other hand, has the fewest. There are only five in December, three in January, and seven in February. These 15 make up less than 12% of the total in three months. 

In addition to the American celebration, July's Independence Days include those of three African countries which celebrate on July 1. Somalia was formed from a former Italian and a former British colony in 1960; and Burundi and Rwanda together separated from Belgium in 1962.

The former Soviet country of Belarus recognizes several turning points in its independence, including July 3, 1944, when its capital of Minsk was liberated from the Nazis; July 27, 1991, when its sovereignty was declared; and December 26, 1991, when its independence was formalized after the Soviet Union collapsed. However, since 1996, the July 3 date has been observed.

One source claims that the partially recognized state of Abkhazia, formerly part of the country of Georgia, coincidentally celebrates its independence on July 4.

Algeria in north Africa, and Cape Verde, off that continent's west coast, both celebrate on July 5, as does Venezuela, on the northern coast of South America. Though the two African countries are relatively near each other, they achieved independence in different years, and from different countries.

The same holds true for the African island country of Comoros off the east coast, and Malawi, a landlocked country inland from the east coast, which attained independence on July 6 in the years 1975 (from France) and 1964 (from the U.K.), respectively.

We'll look at the other July Independence Days in Lesson #05-041.


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Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. claims
  2. colony
  3. disproportionate
  4. formulations
  5. inland
  6. landlocked
  7. liberated
  8. no fewer than
  9. sovereignty
  10. take place

  1. having independent status as a government
  2. at least
  3. asserts; declares
  4. ways of expressing something
  5. set free
  6. happen; occur
  7. not in proper relationship
  8. surrounded by other countries, not touching one of the world's oceans
  9. away from the seacoast
  10. a territory separated from a "mother country"

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for May 9, 2017

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. c; 2. j; 3. g; 4. d; 5. i; 6. h; 7. e; 8. b; 9. a; 10. f