2013-12-20

I was - One of the thousands!

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My story as part of 30 years democracy party

I was one of the thousands that gathered at Plaza de Mayo this past Tuesday celebrating Argentina´s 30th anniversary of return of democratic rule. I did not know what to expect, only knew that this was a ´not to be missed´ event in Buenos Aires. After a quick stop to my house, Albi, a German volunteer, our Argentinian friend Marcela and I were on our way to Plaza de Mayo. We walked dowon Avenida de Mayo, which temporarily turned into a pedestrian street for this event, welcomed by chorizos, burgers, flying toys, vendors with 20-peso beer accompanied by festivities coming from the Casa Rosada. 30 years of Democracy by kilona.org The Casa Rosada or "Government House" is the executive mansion and office of the President of Argentina, which has been declared a National Historic Monument of Argentina. We slowly made our way towards the house, but first, an important stop. Quilmes! You cannot celebrate 30 Years of Democracy without the national beer `Quilmes`. We arrived on the outskirts of the Plaza and all three of us stopped simultaneously in ahhh.. All around us were groups of thousands of people marching with flags, people chatting, drinking beer, eating street food and children of all sizes running around. The typically calm, cobbled street of Plaza de Mayo was rendered unrecognizable. It was moving, playing and jumping and had come alive. I sensed the freedom of this commemorating event as we heard marching chants in the distance, people staring intently at screens with an occasional hand in the air saluting. We kept moving on until we reached a comfy spot near a fountain. The event had various artists playing non-stop throughout the night from Leon Giego to La Renga. As we were satisfying our thirst with Quilmes and taking in engulfed stage of colors and lights, I was very happy that I had the opportunity to be there to celebrate with the Porteños. The celebration continued, as the artist Varela came on playing an accordion with a partnered violinist. The three of us were happily perched near the fountain watching a video of the democratic history of Buenos Aires with occasional chatter and looks reflecting our amazment of this celebration. Shortly after, a song I didn't recognize came on, but somehow I knew it was significant as heightened smiles and an energy of pride swooped through the square. It was Argentina's National Anthem with a twist of drums, accompanied by dancers on the ever so large constructed stage. At that moment, the crowd began singing, dancing and we began to swing side to side and move with the crowd. The patriotism and a long road to democracy was transformed in the energy that we all felt at that moment and I felt it through them. I was one of the thousands that had a chance to be there and this made me feel so grateful to share that moment, that evening, to always remember Argentina's 30 Year Democracy celebration. The song that had the plaza come alive with incredible energy was over as the crowd continued to ride the wave of happiness. The best way to finish the celebration was of course, fireworks. There was an amazing spectacle of fireworks surrounding us in the front and to the right and left of the plaza. We were so close we could feel the thunderous booms and smell the smoke and sulfar in the air. It was abs olutely beautiful and it is and event I will never forget.

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