When you visit Mozambique for the first time, you discover an innate public pride in the country. If you visit Mozambique during Independence Day, on June 25 every year, you discover just how huge this pride is because Mozambique is independent from Portugal and the people are sailing their own ship on both smooth and turbulent seas ever since 1975.
The history flows like a story book
Independence Day is a national holiday in this beautiful African nation is also known in Portuguese as Dia da Independência Nacional. It is worth finding out more about the history of Mozambique and how it came to be an independent nation on 25 June 1975.
It all started when the Europeans first landed on Mozambique shores during the voyages of Vasco Da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, at the end of the fifteenth century. These adventurers liked what they saw and set up a strong base here as early as 1530. This meant that they displaced the Bantu tribes who were actually here first and by establishing control of the entire nation, they created a feudal system. Local Mozambicans were forced to be slaves and trading took off between the Arab, Eastern and European nations.
Frelimo for Freedom
It is not surprising therefore that the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) was formed in the country in the 1960s, specifically as a guerrilla organization that fought to get the Portuguese out. When they began their opposition to colonial rule, Frelimo started their armed campaign in September 1964 with attacks against Portuguese diplomats and military set ups.
The Portuguese Colonial War had started and fighting continued for nearly 10 years. At last, in 1974, a corresponding revolution in Portugal resulted in democracy to that country which inspired a new approach to overseas territories such as Mozambique. Then FRELIMO seized Maputo, the capital, in April 1974 in a coup. And the rest is history – a year later, Mozambique was declared an independent nation on 25 June 1975.
More strife and another leader
The people voted FRELIMO in as their first government and they chose to follow a Soviet way of government and connected with the Soviet Bloc. Later on, however, Mozambique experienced its own internal conflict when the Mozambique National Resistance set up their own movement. Aided by South Africa, the president was assassinated and in 1990 a new constitution was drawn up and peace returned to the country but only after a devastating civil war which many Mozambicans still battle to forget.
Celebrate today with Mozambique
Today local Mozambicans from all walks of life celebrate Independence Day with parades and processions in the capital and other cities and villages all over the country. The president and prime minister preside over the parade, which is dominated by military regiments, and usually announce improvements to government on that day. People eat well, dance, have fun parades and generally party all day long.