Today being the Fourth of July, the whole of America is celebrating its independence from Great Britain.
The Displaced Nation is celebrating, too, but in our usual idiosyncratic style. According to the mini-introduction on our site:
Here at The Displaced Nation, we are passionate about the experience of becoming a global resident.
Celebrating one country’s detachment from another, 235 years ago, doesn’t seem quite in keeping with this Declaration of Independence from nationhood of the conventional kind.
So instead of looking back to 1776, two of us are looking back only to this time last year — to a time when The Displaced Nation didn’t even have a name.
This time in 2010, I blogged about the Queen’s visit to New York, which tactfully had been scheduled to start just after the Fourth. In my post I described the awkwardness of representing the very country from which America was celebrating its independence:
Imagine gatecrashing a silver wedding anniversary bash, given in honor of your ex-husband and his subsequent wife, and that’s pretty much what it’s like to be a Brit in America on the 4th of July.
And yet last year was better than others had been in the past. The reason? I’d discovered an online world full of other people who had lived away from their home country for some time, who weren’t sure any more where the heart was, and therefore didn’t know where to call Home.
Two of those people, of course, are my fellow writers, Anthony Windram and ML Awanohara, at The Displaced Nation. When ML first emailed to ask if I would be interested in this joint venture, being a fan of her own site I naturally said yes. But I had no idea what a lifesaver this intense project would turn out to be, during a difficult time for me.
It’s been an exhilarating three months since the site went live. So although I can never quite get to grips with the spirit of Fourth of July, I’m going to celebrate anyway.
Fire up the barbecue, cue the fireworks, and pass a Corona. Cheers!
I was feeling very misplaced, out of place, out of sorts last Fourth of July. I wrote a rather caviling post maintaining that celebrations of American Independence Day haven’t seemed the same since I repatriated to the U.S., after so many years in the UK and Japan.
I had three main gripes:
1) The latest poll showing that most Americans didn’t know from which nation we’d declared our independence. In the version being circulated in 2010, some had actually speculated it was from Japan or China.
2) Inferiority of American fireworks to those I’d seen over the Sumida River in Tokyo. Why hadn’t we bothered to update them?
3) Boring barbecues. At the very least, I thought it was time for Americans to consider expanding their grilling repertoires to include British bangers.
Two Brits who’ve displaced themselves to the United States, Kate Allison and Anthony Windram, read my post — and stepped up to offer their cyber-friendship.
One year later, I’m thinking about how delighted I am to have have joined forces with them in founding a nation for displaced types like ourselves.
What’s more, The Displaced Nation has just turned three months old, as of July 1. That’s nothing, of course, compared to the American nation (whose 235 years is nothing compared to China’s 5,000 years of history, let alone the histories of most European countries).
But surely it’s something in cyberspace?
We hope that you, too, by now are beginning to put down roots in The Displaced Nation, and we thank you for your contributions to our nation-building efforts.
QUESTION: Which kinds of posts would make you feel even more at home on The Displaced Nation site? We’d love to get your suggestions and input.
STAY TUNED for tomorrow’s post, proposing a new theme (woo hoo!) for The Displaced Nation to explore for the remainder of the month.
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