August 15, 1947, marks the Independence Day of India, world’s largest democracy. The day commemorates the birth of the democratic nation. This is the day when India got freedom from the British Raj. On August 15, 1947, the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru proudly unfurled the Indian flag at the Red Fort in Delhi. Today, Independence Day is considered as a national festival and regardless of religion, class, race, and creed, it is celebrated and rejoiced with several events and cultural programs. Incidentally, India is not the only country to celebrate Independence Day on August 15, here are five more countries:
Republic of Congo
Also known as Congo, the Central African country received full independence from French colonial rulers on August 15, 1960. Exactly 80 years after it came under French sovereignty. The country came under French rule in 1880 and was called as French Congo and in 1903 as Middle Congo. Economic development during the first five decades of the colonial rule in Congo focused on natural-resource extraction and the methods adopted were brutal. The construction of the Congo-Ocean Railroad took at least 14,000 lives.
Officially called as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea, and South Korea gained independence from Japan on August 15, 1945. Korea was occupied by Japan during the Russo-Japanese War. Japan tried to conquer Korean traditions and culture and got hold of the economy for their own benefit. Dongnipgun, Korean resistance groups operated along the Sino-Korean border fighting against Japanese groups.
The Korean Peninsula was liberated in 1945 and the independent Korean governments were created on August 15, 1948. A pro-US government was established and the area was officially named as the Republic of Korea. Syngman Rhee was elected as the first President of South Korea and August 15 was declared as the national holiday. The holiday is called as Gwangbokjeol meaning ‘the day the light returned’.
The Middle Eastern island country, Bahrain gained independence from British colonial rulers on August 15, 1971, following a United Nations survey of the Bahraini population. Before British protectorate, the land was ruled by various entities including Arabs and Portugal.
The sixth smallest nation in the world, Liechtenstein was freed from German rule in 1866 and since 1940 August 15 is celebrated as the country’s national day. The day is celebrated as a combination of the Feast of the Assumption and the Reigning Prince’s birthday. Celebration comprises of Catholic mass followed by distribution of sandwich and drink at the Prince’s castle. The masses also get the opportunity to interact with the royal family.