Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year, New Country

     Happy New Year, Everyone!  Our family isn't really big on celebrating the New Year.  We generally stay home, put our kids to bed on time (they are 4 and 8), and watch a movie or something until midnight.  After saying "Happy New Year" to each other, we go to bed. Not very exciting, to say the least. 
     This year was no different.  We were fully prepared to let 2010 pass on as we let every other year.  As midnight approached, we began to hear the pop and crackle of fireworks.  When midnight was reached, it was as if the entire country let loose.  We opened our kitchen blinds to see what was going on.  Our entire neighborhood was in the street, drinking champagne, setting off fireworks, and celebrating.  The excitement was palpable.
    We decided to wake the children.  Olivia's room, on the front of the house, was like a front row seat to an amazing show.  Living on the edge of town, we could see the the skyline, lit up again and again, as what seemed like the entire town and neighboring towns setting off fireworks.  It was dazzling.  I have never seen such a display of celebration, even in the US on the 4th of July.  And this wasn't a community sponsored show, it was just regular people showing their joy at the coming of a new year.  People celebrating the the happiness of the past year, and demonstrating their hope of good things in this new one.
    When the fireworks began to slow, we put the kids back to bed.  I am glad that we let them experience something that they would not see in the United States.  I know that I had never seen anything like it.  It gives me an appreciation for the exuberance of the people that are currently sharing their country and culture with us. 
    Welcome, 2011.