200 Years, the 2nd Time Around

2010.May.26 Wednesday · 2 comments

in Life

“The 1976 Bicentennial is not going to be invented in Washington, printed in triplicate by the Government Printing Office [and] mailed to you by the United States Postal Service.”

– Richard M. Nixon, U.S. President

Most folk probably know that yesterday was Argentina’s bicentennial. Well, one of them. It was the 200th anniversary of the start of the Revolución de Mayo, which eventually led to independence, six years later. So there’ll be another one on July 9, 2016, if I understand the approach here. For me, this was my second bicentennial, having just graduated from high school when the U.S. celebrated. Definitely different approaches – or perhaps it’s simply because I was in a small city when that one happened, and here I am in Argentina’s capital. A long, five day weekend of lots of milling about in the streets and cheering for one thing or another seemed to be the primary approach.

Both Av. 9 de Julio and Av. de Mayo were blocked off officially, but pretty much every other street surrounding the “center point” of the obelisco was simply blocked off by the crowds. Monday and Tuesday crowd estimates topped two million people – whether or not that’s true I don’t know, but there were a whole lotta folk out there. I spent part of the afternoon on Sunday out checking out the parades and various other activities until pouring rain started up and I headed home for the rest of the eve. Monday night Henry and I headed into the center of it all for various folklore and symphonic concerts, and the broadcast of the Argentina-Canada soccer match – we managed to slowly edge our way quite close to the stage over time – but after 4½ hours of that I’d had enough and wedged my way back out – he stayed for a few more hours, particularly for some of the folklore groups he wanted to hear. I watched on t.v.

Last eve the crowd estimates were climbing and the thought of facing it again was too much – I went to dinner with a friend while Henry headed off with a group of his friends – they didn’t even get close to where they wanted to be – and then we met up at home and watched the rest on the tube. Here, some random photos from my two days out there in the sardine can. Hmmm… Colombia’s 200th comes up in a couple of months… followed by Mexico, Chile and Paraguay over the next year.

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

Argentina bicentennial celebrations

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jerry king May 27, 2010 at 08:55

I guess you felt you just HAD to mention the Argentina/Canada football/soccer match! I resent that; as a Canadian I take it personally.
The problem is most of the world plays and practices “football”. They’re good at it. We, on the other hand, play soccer.
As the score (6-0, I believe) showed, two entirely different games!

dan May 27, 2010 at 11:24

It was pretty hard to avoid the match here! And most of the world plays futbol. As an estadounidense, I assert that “football” is an entirely different thing and a much more interesting game…. There, I said it!

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