Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kuwait National Day

Kuwait National Day and Liberation Day (the two most important holidays here besides the religious ones) were in February. I had the intention of watching the festivities all day and writing about it as I saw it but instead we decided to have a party and watch as a group. It was very fun to take turns with the binoculars! We were expecting complete chaos and 1,000s of revelers. I heard stories about how in years past one couldn't even walk through the main road along the water (Arab Gulf Road) because the traffic was so thick with cars and people. People suggested we go to the grocery store and stock up for several days because we wouldn't be able to get in and out of our apartment (since we live on that street). As we prepared to hunker down, a local non-Kuwaiti made a comment to us, "Oh, don't worry there won't be any traffic this weekend because all the Kuwaitis will be in Dubai drinking."

Maybe that was true because what really happened was pretty tame. Though not lacking in entertainment. There were two main ways of celebrating. One was decorating one's car with Kuwaiti flags. The one above won our prize for most festive. The thing on the top spun when he drove. It was quite fabulous as you can see. The other thing to do was sit in completely optional traffic and let children spray you and your car with super soaker water guns. The children were SUPER into it (no pun intended) and it was actually sweet to watch people purposefully slow down to let the kids get them. There was one kid who was sort of the ring leader (there's always one). Not only was he wearing a track suit but his father stood on the sidewalk behind him always ready with a back up water gun. Whenever he ran out of water he would go back to his dad for the other. It was completely indulgent and Kuwaiti and we loved it.

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