Not so proud to be an American

Yesterday was the fourth of July and we decided to celebrate by eating one of the most American things we could find: apple pie with vanilla ice cream. Our whole group met at 1:00 pm along with Brother and Sister Ricks and another stray American, John, that Matt and Julia met. We all ordered our pie and ice cream and thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

Later that night some other Americans celebrated differently, but in a more American way. They set off fireworks at around 11:30 pm. I was almost asleep when they started going off and with each shell I would wake up, think “Happy Fourth of July”, roll over and try to fall back asleep only to be woken up by another shell. After I don’t know how long there was a continuous stream of fireworks going for a couple minutes. I heard my Pa-la go upstairs to look at them so I followed suit. I found Somo-la, Pa-la, and my sister all standing at the porch balcony railing watching the fireworks. With each KA-BOOM there were about 10 extra KA-BOOMS that reverberated off the mountains, which made it all that much louder. All the dogs were also barking continuously from all the mayhem. When the fireworks were all finished, the Americans responsible cheered. My sister commented that they were idiots and I simply said “Happy Fourth of July”. She seemed confused so I told her that it was the American Independence Day. She asked if we did that in America, meaning fireworks, and I said yes. She didn’t seem impressed and said that everyone around the neighborhood was “pissed”. Somo-la remarked, “People have babies and sick people at home, why did they do this in the middle of the night? They should have done it earlier.” I looked around and all the neighbors were out on their porch balconies as well and they all looked sleepy and grumpy. With a few more grumbles we all said goodnight and went back to bed.

This morning Somo-la and I talked about last night while we ate breakfast. She was still a little grumpy about it and we were both very sleepy. As I’ve been thinking about what these other Americans did, disrupting the whole town in the middle of the night to celebrate and solely American holiday, I get very annoyed and ashamed. I know I had nothing to do with the fireworks, but it was my fellow Americans and being known as American makes me feel like I did have something to do with it. The funny thing is, I actually met a couple of the girls who were at the fireworks show and I made sure to tell them that my host family was mad about it. They thought they heard other Americans cheering, but I only heard them. I don’t think they realized that they disrupted hundreds of Tibetans who don’t care about our Independence Day. It just goes to show how inconsiderate some Americans head and I continue to hang my head.



One response to “Not so proud to be an American

  1. This was an unfortunate incident. I think in general though most of the westerners who come through here are inconsiderate of the host culture. Littering, making out in public, wearing immodest clothing, etc. But yeah, not a proud moment for the Americans.

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