A Tale of Two Countries: Colombian Independence Day in Lowell
City hall plaza flooded with yellow, blue, red, and orgullo. A week ago, July 20th, Colombia celebrated 205 years of sovereign rule. And, the Colombian Community here in Lowell, Massachusetts celebrated like no other. Music, dance, heritage, culture all merged together in a vivacious ceremony that sure did show that Colombians know how to have a good time. At 1pm, Oh Gloria Inmarcesible (the Colombian anthem) rang out and over 200 Colombianos intently watched their flag rise and billow in the hot summer breeze. Pride for la madre tierra was on everyone’s mind and was felt throughout the entirety of the event. The American national anthem was then sung as a symbolic bond between homeland and home for many Colombo-Americans living in Lowell. A series of raffles followed, with donated prizes from local businesses- a Federacion Colombiana de Futbol jersey (!Si fue gol de Yepes!), local salon gift certificates, and restaurant gift cards. Traditional Colombian dancers fluttered among the crowd, preforming the Cumbia- a typical dance of Colombia’s coastal region demonstrating the fusion between Colombian natives, slaves, and Spaniards during the colonial period. Smiling girls in silk and cotton skirts and boys waving handkerchiefs and straw hats delivered exhilarating performances of Colombian rhythm. Post performance, a musical duo led the crowd into a sing along of a professional magnitude. Blaring in the downtown of Lowell- Soy Colombiano by Tinto roared like a victory cry. People danced. People sang. People laughed. And talked. And shared. And loved their home country in the city of Lowell.
NPS showed great support- filming, handing out raffle tickets and waters- and was mentioned by the mayor, Rodney Elliott, and former mayor, Rita Mercier for being out there and embracing the community.
Ay! Que orgullosa me seinto de ser una buena Colombiana!
Saludos de Lowell,