We Maldivians appear to be collectively suffering from a rare streak of masochism. We have a strong tendency to celebrate our defeats and disasters.
Take the example of the tsunami, which we celebrate as ‘National Solidarity Day’. Notwithstanding the spontaneous outpouring of sympathy and support for the victims in the immediate aftermath, what happened later was anything but solidarity, especially the feuds that developed between refugees and host communities. Even at the national level, the government has failed to settle the victims even after four years, despite the availability of funds.
So why then, one wonders, do we celebrate December 26th each year as ‘Solidarity Day’ of all things? If it is to encourage positive qualities like sharing each other’s problems, then we could have chosen something less hypocritical. Building on a foundation of lies may not be the best way to develop positive qualities.
Take also the 3rd of November, which we celebrate as Victory Day. What victory? The leaders simply went into hiding leaving the people at the hands of mercenaries, till the Indian Army came and rescued us. Sure, Hussein Adam and a few others sacrificed their lives for the nation, and we remain grateful to them. [I also received and ‘Addana’ for what I did on that day.] But does it qualify that day to be a Victory Day?
Now we come to the Martyrs Day, which remembers the untimely death of King Ali the 6th. Apart from folklore we really don’t know what exactly happened to him. In trying to glorify the king, the story labels all the citizens of Male as cowards. So what are we celebrating on Martyr’s Day?
To complete the list of disasters to celebrate let us think of some more. We can celebrate the sinking of Enama Boat as National Maritime Day. Civil Aviation Day can be celebrated on the day Air Maldives declared bankruptcy. Child Rights Day could be celebrated on the day Naseem Soa case surfaced. Health Day could be changed to coincide with either the Cholera epidemic or Dengue epidemic. Any more ideas?