Celebrating Bermuda Day

Mikaela Ian

I am a proud Bermudian. No matter where I am in the world, I bubble up with excitement whenever I’m asked where I’m from. BERMUDA, I say as loudly as I can. Because I’m proud, proud to be from this 21-square mile in the Atlantic.

Today, on Bermuda Day, I’m even more proud to be Bermudian. When I was 12, my family packed up and moved to Massachusetts. I didn’t want to leave. I cried almost daily before boarding the Delta flight to Boston. Right before we left, my dad made what this life-changing comment, which sticks with me 20 years later – “Bermuda will always be there. You can always come back home”.

I never forgot that. When I was freezing in the snow of South Lancaster or being blown by the wind chills off Lake Michigan, I knew I could always come home. Bermuda is and always will be home.

I remember every year when May 24 would roll around, I was always away in school missing the celebrations. I would come to school in my Bermuda shirt with my flag, waving it proudly for my classmates to see. I would sing “Hail to Bermuda” and brag about being from one of the most beautiful places on earth.

You see, I wasn’t the only immigrant, but it seemed I was the only one who LOVED where they came from. My classmates from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti never went back home. They didn’t feel the longing to visit their island home like I did.

Don’t get me wrong, they were proud of their heritage but had no desire to return. Then you had me – the girl from Bermuda who went home every single summer and wouldn’t have it any other way. The girl who would return home after schooling because she loved Bermuda so much.

I’ve heard over and over that Bermuda has no culture, that we as a people have no pride. I resent those statements. Anyone who has lived overseas or visited third world countries should have pride for our island. We are a unique Island in the sun with beautiful people. We have an enormous amount of priviledge that many islands do not have – sound infrastructure, strong currency, large international business sector and much more.

So today, as we gear up to celebrate Bermuda Day, I encourage you to think of one thing that makes you proud to be Bermudian. When you see the runners or hear the Gombey beat, think of one reason you’re thankful to Bermudian.

For me, it’s this – I’m grateful to be Bermudian as we are blessed with access to most of the countries around the world without any hassles. Why are you proud to be Bermudian?

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