Celebrating the National Day of Kuwait
On the 25th of March, I was walking down the high street when I came across some LSI Portsmouth students getting ready to celebrate Kuwait National Day. The very next day, at LSI Portsmouth, a group of our lovely Kuwaiti students put together a celebration of their own for their national day.
Helping to get the celebration ready
I volunteered to help the students get set up (there were a lot of flags to hang up, and they wanted to get some music set up). During this time, I sat with some of the students, we listened to traditional and modern Kuwaiti songs. They told me about the meaning of this day and how they would celebrate it back home in Kuwait.
It was such a pleasure to speak with them and to learn about their traditions! I then had to get back to work and looked forward to the celebrations at lunchtime. I sent a quick WhatsApp message to the teachers’ WhatsApp group, I told them that there was going to be a big party on the 2nd floor at 12 noon and they had to check it out!
What Hawraa said about Kuwait National Day
At the end of the day, I caught up with Hawraa. Hawraa is an LSI Portsmouth student who has been studying with us for 7 months. Also, Hawraa was responsible for much of the organisation of the celebrations! We talked about topics such as: What is Kuwait National Day? How is it usually celebrated? Etc. It is totally worth listening to our conversation (see below), Hawraa has fantastic English and is very interesting and informative. Below is a summary of the topics we discussed and the conclusions that were reached between us.
What is Kuwait National Day?
First of all, Kuwait National Day is actually 2 days. The 25th and 26th of February. The 25th is connected to the freedom of Kuwait from Iraq, the 26th is the freedom of Kuwait from the UN. This means that Kuwait National Day is a festival of independence.
Comparing Kuwait National Day with St George’s Day
St George’s Day is the National Day of England, however, it is not nearly as widely celebrated as Kuwaiti’s National Day. Kuwait National Day is not just important for Kuwaiti’s, but for all Gulf countries.
How is this day celebrated in Kuwait?
One of the most popular activities to do on this day is for Kuwaiti’s to decorate their cars with stickers and flags and then go on a parade.
Tell us about Kuwaiti traditional food
At the celebration at LSI Portsmouth, we were treated to a lot of delicious Kuwaiti food, there were queues of teachers and students waiting to try some and everyone came back for more. Hawraa organised this for us because she wanted to show the other international students at LSI Portsmouth how tasty Kuwaiti food can be. Today we had a kabsa type dish of chicken/beef/shrimp with rice. We had traditional famous Kuwaiti sweets and cakes.
Traditional Kuwaiti clothes
Kuwait is very modern when it comes to ‘traditional’ or festive clothes. Hawraa was wearing a hoodie with the Kuwaiti Flag on it, she explained that t-shirts and hoodies with ‘Kuwait’ written on it in Arabic and English are a typical thing to wear on these days. Many people like to wear kind of ‘football’ scarves which show the Kuwaiti flag.
How do you say ‘Happy Kuwait National Day’?
Hawraa explains that there are lots of different phrases which people say to each other on these days, not just one set phrase like there would be in English. You will have to listen to the recording to hear the phrases you should use!
Visit Kuwait on it’s National Day!
Hawraa says that of all the days of the year to visit Kuwait, their national day is the best day to visit on, she highly recommends seeing the parades and celebrations!
How did we celebrate the National Day of Kuwait at LSI Portsmouth?
Decorations, presents, food, sweets, and coffee!
Check out these pictures of the decorations and food prepared for us by the Kuwaiti students! We were incredibly lucky!
Mohsen gives a speech
Here are two of my favourite moments of the celebration. The first is when a group of our Kuwaiti students got together and sang the Kuwaiti national anthem. The second is when Mohsen made a speech, this is what he said:
Thank you for coming to celebrate with us, today is Kuwait National Day and I’m so pleased to share it with you. Kuwaiti celebrates for 2 days. The first is liberation day, and the second is when Kuwait as a nation separated from the UN.
If I was at home, I would be celebrating with my family, and taking our decorative cars out to the streets for a parade. Instead today I get to celebrate with my new family, here at LSI Portsmouth.
During this celebration time, we love to wear our flags and decorate our buildings, cars, parks, and streets with them. Many famous singers from Kuwait will hold concerts during this time to celebrate, it is a time for families to bond together, it is why we wanted to invite you to this special occasion to celebrate and share this time with us.
In England, it is common to find some places (to celebrate) in Covent Garden and even in Commercial Road in Portsmouth, by this fountain.”
A message from the author
I remember meeting both Hawraa and Mohsen on their very first day at LSI Portsmouth. I am so impressed by how far they have come with their English and how well they speak English now. It was inspiring to hear them speaking in what can be difficult situations: Mohsen gave a speech and Hawraa gave a ‘radio interview’. Well done guys!
What else can I say? The celebrations at LSI Portsmouth were fantastic! What I liked most was the hospitable nature of the Kuwaiti students, they were very generous, warm, friendly and open.
Thank you so much!
Who made this blog possible?
Hawraa – LSI Portsmouth Student
Hawraa is studying with us to prepare for a Psychology course which she is going to take at the University of Portsmouth.
- She lived in the USA for 2 years, then the UK for 1 year.
- When she began her studies at LSI Portsmouth, she studied on our IELTS Preparation course.
- After receiving an offer from the University of Portsmouth, she transferred to our pre-sessional course to prepare her for the academic English environment of University life.
Mohsen – LSI Portsmouth Student
Mohsen, similarly to Hawraa, is also studying English so that he can prepare for a University course.
- He has been studying at LSI Portsmouth for 5 months.
- He has been studying on our IELTS Preparation course.
- He has travelled to quite a few cities around the UK: Manchester, Southampton, and London.
- After he has completed his IELTS course, he is going to study cyber security at a University in Manchester.
- This is his first Kuwait National Day that he has spent outside of Kuwait.
(From Left) Abdulaziz, Mohsen, Khalid, Eissa, Tareq
Are you interested in studying at LSI Portsmouth?
Are you thinking of preparing for an exam?
Want to know more about us?