Identity symbol, the Kuwaiti style

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Local Sightings : A Giant Kuwait Flag hang in the street during Hala February celebrations in Kuwait

You know you’re an Expat in Kuwait when the sight of the colors red, green, black and white has become a norm wherever you go.

One of the things that stands out and I particularly noticed while living in Kuwait for years was the local’s love of their national flag. It just sprouts everywhere! In the shopping malls, bridges, in the motorway, in almost all building’s facade,in cars and yachts,and oh even in the shirt that people wear! I’m telling you, visiting Kuwait during the festive month of February is quite an experience. As the biggest festival of Hala February approaches, around 4 weeks before the event, almost all houses including office buildings are heavily decorated with life-size Kuwaiti flag. The face of the Amir & the Crown Prince is also almost e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.

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You can’t get lost. These signs will be your guide that you’re still in the country’s premises.

In the Miya-Miya shops ( 100 fils shop or like the Euro shops), tons of things are being sold with designs of the flag as well. From head scarfs, earrings, hats, glasses, pins, dresses, almost anything that you can wear on yourself!  In my old neighborhood alone, where most of my neighbors are Kuwaitis, all villas have this giant size flag hanging from their roof top down to their basement. It’s like their identity symbol. A competition of the biggest flag and I don’t really know who’s winning. Children wear dresses made out of the Kuwaiti flag colors. The colors green,white and red are made into a frenzy lights that dazzled at night. Kuwait loves sparkling, dancing, and almost surreal light displays.Well if you’re in an oil-rich country like Kuwait, you will put lights everywhere,too. This country is really a must see especially in February when they are celebrating their culture, national pride and liberation in their National Day.

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A girl dressed in Kuwaiti colors

I have never seen this kind of patriotism and pride which ever you may call it. Young children are part of this and they enjoyed it the most,for the fun part. In my home country, or in the Netherlands or even here in Germany on a daily basis. Even a Bakala in Kuwait has a flag in their doors. In the Philippines, flags and the ways that its being used is somewhat only  in sanctified functions.Here, I know that a surge of display of flags and symbolism comes very timely during sport tournaments and of course, during Football season and its fanfare.

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Hala Hala Kuwait!

What local sightings do you appreciate or see in your neighborhood?

Are you in Instagram? Follow my account Here for more photos of the local sightings I post about  my Expat life. Thank you for stopping by!

 

 

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Only in Kuwait : National Water Gun Spraying Day

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Two Days of Terror

Here we go again,  In a few days its the National Water Gun Spraying Day in Kuwait. The Two days of Terror !

Unfortunately, we live almost 10 minutes away from the Arabian Gulf, I could see from our bedroom window the long coast of the beach and during this holiday, The Gulf road becomes a battleground during the celebration of National Day & Liberation Day  in Kuwait. Battleground for what?

The Gulf strip is known to be one crazy Battleground for car-maniac driving & being attacked by water gun- spraying teenagers ( Sorry, also adults included !)

If you think that this looks & sounds fun, then hold on for a minute. It’s not. 20 years ago, Kuwaitis celebrates the National Day & Independence day (February 25-26 )   by commemorating their liberation from Iraqi invasion. Kuwait TV airs shows that depicts the memories of the war & the celebration is focused mainly on nationalistic pride activities such as throwing party confettis in the air and having the nationalistic parades. Everything is synchronized harmony. Its a celebration where everyone can have a great time without any harm & injury. Its something that both young & old look forward to see, and to spend outdoors. The whole family can look forward to a weekend  holiday with full of fun, colorful carnivals & parades and can drive safely & go home in one piece. That was a history.

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Kuwait Liberation & National day

Kuwaitis wanted more fun.

This day had been notorious for spraying foam on your cars while driving.  If you’re an Expat or just a normal pedestrian walking in the street, you might be their next & favorite target.  A not-so-good kind of Fun that results in injuries and damage. Fortunately, the MOI ( Ministry of Interior ) had banned the use of this foam & impose strict fines. But then, Kuwaitis have re-invented the game.This day turned into a National Water gun spraying Day. I’m telling you, you don’t want to make mess with these kids & teenagers who line up in the street to give you a bath and attacked you. I see this as a form of attack since they do it deliberately, with the intention of doing their thing without thinking the consequences. Last year, I was so dumb to bring out my baby to take a stroll in the beach. It was crazy! They literally would open your car windows and shoot you with their foams and it becomes worst that they even re-invent the foam, they opt to use spray paint. More & more people are complaining about the problem caused by this. Nobody is happy with this 2 days of terror.Except maybe the vendor of water guns.Its the season where their sales goes on high. No wonder so many opt to travel out of the country during this holidays or better, staying in indoors.

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Shooting Kids : Typical Fun during Liberation Day

I don’t know but this is not just my idea of fun. National Day definitely doesn’t give you the freedom ticket to harm anyone just because you think its your way of having fun & the norm of celebration. For those of you who are new to Kuwait then you might find this fascinating since this is new to your eyes.Be warned though. Just make sure you are well prepared when you leave your home.

As an Expat here, I am with Kuwait wholeheartedly , congratulating the whole nation for another year of Freedom. I wish that we could have a deeper sense of appreciating this country without the loud & harmful water toy gun & sprays.

Kuwait Expat Survival Tip :

  1. Don’t be a moron and be a  reckless street sprayers lined up along Gulf Road attacking even small children & babies.
  2. Think before you spend that 5 KD on that water toy gun. Is it really worth it?
  3. Don’t ever think of going to Gulf Road. Aside from the Relentless Sprays, it will be jam packed & lots of traffic.
  4. It will be a long weekend, and there are lots of activities & worthwhile celebration going on around Kuwait, find where you will have a sense of relaxation.

Happy Liberation Day Kuwait! Mabrook !

 

 

Hala February Kuwait!

 

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Green, Red & Black are the colors of Hala February  in Kuwait

February is a beautiful month in Kuwait. The weather is cool and  at its best, (Hooooraayy! ) and super perfect for outdoor activities. This is the best time to spend more time outside and explore because there’s so much things to see. If you’re new in Kuwait, then this is the best time for  Expats to get to know more about this country and participate to this most-awaited national holiday. From the beautiful street decorations up to the fresh spring flowers that adorned the landscapes of Kuwait, the whole K- town becomes alive.

February is the month of the colorful festival “Hala February “  highlighting the National Liberation Day which falls on February 25-26. Usually there are lots of varieties for a month-long activities and events everywhere. From winter Bazaars, Light shows & concerts, Outdoor Markets, desert camps, cultural tours, concert parades,  local community  festivals and so on. There’s so much going on everywhere that your weekend is packed with events to suits your lifestyle. In relation to this festivity, recently, Kuwait flight its 2,000 meters National Flag- (  Guinness World Record by making the Longest Flag-February 9,2016).

When I was a newcomer here, I was amazed while observing  how nationalistic Kuwaiti people are. I distinctively remember how I knew that the festivities have begun. All the villas in our neighborhood has Kuwaiti flag hanged in their  walls. During the whole month of February, Kuwaiti national pride come to super boost. From the Kuwait Towers, up to the smallest Bakalas, the Red, Green & Black color is all around. Small flags adorned the windows, doors, shops and even cars. So many shops that mainly sells are stuff for the Hala February event. They sell costumes, decorations, hats, flags & banners and so much more. Most buildings have beautiful light decorations and shows which are quite a sight at night. It becomes so alive in the evening. This is one of the attractions during this month. If you love Architecture then you’re in a treat, all the towers & Skyscrapers are decorated with  beautiful lights. I love watching them.

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Little boy in a costume during the Hala February  Festival Parade.

Since this post is about the National Day of Kuwait, I think its just  fitting that I shared with you some of the  interesting facts that I have learned about this country . These facts have made this dynamic country to be a popular Expat destination in the Middle East and stand out because of its unique charm, spirit & flaws.Read on.

  • Until 1962, Kuwait celebrated its National Day on June 19, the anniversary of its independence, but in 1963 it changed it to February 25 to avoid the hot weather of June.
  • February 25 was the anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah becoming Emir of Kuwait in 1950. February 26, 1991 was the day Iraq’s occupying forces were driven out of Kuwait.
  • Kuwait has the world’s fifth largest oil reserves.
  • The national bird of Kuwait is the Falcon.
  • There are 1.43 males to every female in Kuwait.
  • In 2006, Kuwait became the first country to introduce the sport of camel racing, with remote controlled robot jockeys.
  • When Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait in 1990 and named it the 19th Province of Iraq some dissidents called it “Wimbledon” which is SW19.
  • Kuwait has won two Olympic medals, both bronze for Fehaid Al-Dehani at trap shooting.
  • Kuwait is the only country in the world with no natural water supply from lakes or reservoirs but it did open its first grass golf course in 2005.
  • Eating, drinking, playing loud music and dancing during daylight hours in public are against the law in Kuwait during the month of Ramadan.
  • Kuwait is on top  in Fattest Country in the world with 70% of Kuwaiti men over 15 are obese and over 80% of women.
  • Coke beats Pepsi internationally but only in the Middle East does Pepsi beat Coke.
  • Kuwaiti Dinar (KD ) is the highest valued currency.
  • On November 12 2012, Kuwait marked its Constitution’s 50th Anniversary with outraging fireworks.With the cost of nearly KD 4 million, featuring about 77,000 fireworks, they earned the place of “The largest fireworks display” in Guinness World Record. My neck got so cramped watching fireworks for almost an hour! It was insane!
  • Kuwait has 15,000* registered leisure boats (as of 2012)
  • Kuwait has the third highest density of millionaires in the world.
  • Fifty percent (50%) of Kuwaitis are Divorced.
  • The minimum legal age of marriage varies according to gender, where the age of marital consent is 15 for girls and 17 for boys. Arranged Marriages is still the norm in this country.
  • Kuwait has broken world record in number of traffic deaths, with 17 deaths recorded in every 100,000 cases on the average.The worst record ever that Kuwait has. According to death statistics of 2014, 5,819 death cases were registered out of which 3,186 cases were of Kuwaiti citizens and 2,633 of expatriates. The total population of the country has reached 4.202 million out of which 1.298 million are Kuwaiti citizens.
  • Kuwait ranks #80 with 2.48 (2015 )  for Total Fertility rate of Kuwaiti women around the world.
  • The largest supplier of goods and service for Kuwait is United States. Therefore, both countries have strong cooperation.
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Water Towers lights up in Kuwait

How about you, do you know any interesting facts about the country you’re living in right now?

I hope you get to know more Kuwait through this post. Thank you for reading!