This is the last post in a series celebrating the three countries I have ties to. You can read my tribute to Canada and the USA.

¡El grito de la independencia! Ah, yes, the shout of Independence.

Today, Colombia celebrates its first of two independence days: El 20 de julio. This first day commemorates July 20, 1810, when the people of Bogota took to the streets, rioting and demanding independence from Spanish rule. However, full independence did not come until August 7, 1819, with the victorious Battle of Boyacá. As I am missing the patriotic celebrations in Colombia, I shall celebrate from Canada, sharing some reasons I’m proud to be Colombian.

Patriotism. Colombians are quite patriotic, passionately displaying national pride whenever possible. Last year’s World Cup reminded me of their infectious passion, combining soccer and country into one exciting month. I’ve yet to meet a Colombian not proud to be one; any Colombian I’ve met abroad misses home and will quickly let you know where they’re from.

Creativity. Colombians are incredibly creative, continually thinking of new ways to create income, improve their quality of life and generally just do new things. Thousands of small businesses scatter the sidewalks, with street vendors fighting to make it. With limited government assistance, these individuals come up with ways to support themselves and their families.

Family and Community. Colombian culture revolves around family. Reunions, lunches, parties, weddings, vacation homes, you name it… families are bound to show up together. Knowing your extended family is expected and celebrated. I love that it is more common to spend New Year’s Eve with your family than with your friends. My family is very tight, and though I also attribute that to my mom’s American family that also highly treasures family, I know that my Colombian culture deeply influenced us as well.

¿Y tú? Why are you proud to be Colombian?