The patriotic holidays start today here in Panama. My girls are home from school until next Monday. Tomorrow we will go to the school bright and early to salute the flag. My daughter will dress in the typical costume and sing patriotic songs with her classmates on the stage. This kind of patriotism is very foreign to me. I love my country (Canada) but I did not grow up with obligatory public acts of patriotism. I find these ceremonies moving and fascinating.
On November 3rd Panamanians celebrate their independence from Colombia and on November 28th their independence from Spain. The whole month of November is designated as patriotic (mes de la patria). People attach flags to their cars and decorate their houses. There are five days off in the month of November. Many people take advantage of all these holidays and go to the beach. I'm hoping we'll get out to the beach ourselves this long weekend.