The Fourth of July is fast approaching. But as Penn global opportunities are expanding, many students may find themselves miles away from anyone who cares about the United States' Independence Day. Beyond just an opportunity to get wasted with your friends or watch fireworks on the beach, the Fourth of July represents an important aspect of the American past and future: freedom. Especially given our country's political state, it is essential to remember where we came from, the ideas that have maintained the glory of this country, and the virtues we fight for everyday as a country. Alongside the historical value of this holiday, the Fourth July represents a homage to American culture that is worth its celebration every year.
The Fourth of July has always been a holiday Americans hold dear, chowing down burgers at the beach, throwing pool parties, and waiting for the firework show with family and friends without fail every year. With a large mixing pot of cultural identities, this holiday is a representation of American pride and a way to honor the American heritage with grilled meats and explosives in the sky. Unfortunately, if you're away from the states, you might find it difficult to celebrate the same way. If you're refusing to let go of your roots, here are a couple of ways you can still partake in the Fourth of July festivities while you're abroad.
A Fourth of July celebration begins by dressing the part. If you’re looking for something simple, you could opt for some form of a combination of red, white, and blue. Your Fourth of July outfit can extend beyond that to include U.S. sports jerseys or shirts with an American flag. This doesn’t even begin to include the plethora of U.S.A.–based accessories that can be used to spice up your day look. Look out for American flag shutter shades and socks, red and blue necklaces, and, of course, red, white, and blue bandanas. If you’re truly looking to go all out to show your American pride, consider temporarily dying your hair red or blue for this special day.
Once you’ve saddled up in your USA–themed outfit, it’s time to get cooking. There’s nothing that screams America more like a traditional barbecue. A cook-out is a time to bond over our culture’s love for food and family bonding time while enjoying the beautiful summer weather. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do the same abroad. Pile your shopping cart high with burgers, hot dogs, potato salad, pasta salad, and all the condiments you can think of. Cooling down with a smooth beer or some watermelon while your grill master gets to work will help make it hard to remember that you’re not basking in the bright American sun — you might even be able to taste the freedom.
If you’re left without the resources for a proper cookout, look out for some local burger joints or a Hard Rock Cafe to include this quintessential aspect of Independence Day.
Nothing screams Fourth of July like drinking games. We Americans pride ourselves into turning every event into a chug–fest, so why should your abroad Fourth be any different? So, pull out the Solo cups, stack em, and get your pong, flip cup, quarters, and slap cup on!
After filling your stomach with loads of beer and BBQ, kick back and put on a classic American film such as Independence Day or Top Gun. If you’re not in the mood to sit around, it’s time to blast some classic American songs: Country Roads (Take me Home), American Pie, and of course, Living On A Prayer. Maybe even pull up a YouTube video of some fireworks on your laptop for some ambiance.
Whether it’s by repping American colors or a juicy cheeseburger, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the Fourth abroad. You'll send the message: I’m Proud to be an American—at least on the Fourth.