Today is a national holiday in my country of origin – a day to think about the makings of the nation and foster patriotism. It is not a day for big celebratory parties (for historical reasons, I believe) and many of our people take it to be just another day off from work or school.
But I think it is nice to have a day to look to the past to know how we became who we are today and look to the future that is to be derived. I especially want the young minds of my homeland to spend today thinking about their country, for largely two reasons.
One, I want them to be able to present our thoughts as a nation in international situations. In their future the world will be much more globalized and it will be the job of every one of them, not just diplomats and others specifically trained to handle foreign affairs, to speak on behalf and act in the best interest of their country. They must know their country well enough before they can represent it and make it stand out in a forum of many other identities.
And two, I want them to be able to pass on the thoughts of our ancestors to our descendants. As I grew up abroad, I have to say I was deprived of the opportunity to really understand the way of thinking of my people and thus, I cannot appreciate to the fullest the beauty in it or tell the younger generation exactly what it is that is so good about it. They must know their country well enough before they can allow their children and children of their children to maintain identity with the country.
So I wish today that my people will think how we can let the young minds look back in time to think about how they want to be when they look ahead.
Maybe culture and tradition.
Maybe values and beliefs.
Maybe character and nature.
And I wish that when we do this, we take into consideration both the cross-sectional and longitudinal aspects of the task. Although I myself cannot truly become a representative member of my country, I know looking in from outside what makes my homeland attractive and appealing. I am certain I can assist in the cultivation of strong representatives.