|Our workers at the mission base participated in the activities with their own banner.|
|Flag ceremony with the whole community showing up for the occasion.|
|The political leader of our area, Chef do Posto paying homage to the memory of lost soldiers during the Civil War in Mozambique.|
|On a day like this there is always a lot of food ready!|
|Small donuts being prepared for the feast!|
|The day was filled with much singing, dancing and dramas showing the history of the country!|
DID YOU KNOW?
The first inhabitants of what is now Mozambique were the San hunters and gatherers, ancestors of the Khoisani peoples. Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from the north through the Zambezi River valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas. The were farmers and ironworkers.
Then an old friend, Vasco de Gama, exploring for Portugal, reached the coast of Mozambique in 1498. Arab trading settlements had existed along the coast for several centuries, and political control of the coast was in the hands of some sultans. Muslims had actually lived in the region for quite some time. Most of the local people had embraced Islam.
From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts became regular ports of call on the new route to the east. There is a long history of where Portugal neglected Mozambique and its people. A Cotton concessionary system was started and Mozambicans were forced to work up to 150 days a year on their fields (1 hectare per male, 1/2 hectare per female). Africans could only sell their cotton for African low prices, while Europeans had special high selling prices. Mozambicans knew cotton as the “mother of all poverty” during this time, and intense periods of poverty and starvation were fairly common.
Mozambique became independent after 10 years of sporadic warfare in Mozambique and Portugal’s return to democracy through a leftist military coup in Lisbon on 25 April 1974. Frelimo took control of the territory after a transition period, as agreed in the Lusaka Accord. Official independence from Portugal was on 25 June, 1975.
Portuguese population’s rapid exodus left the Mozambican economy in disarray. The eruption of the Mozambican Civil War (1975 – 1992) destroyed the remaining wealth and left Mozambique in a state of absolute disrepair.
Mozambique held elections in 1994. By mid-1995 over 1.7 million refugees who had sought asylum in neighboring countries had returned to Mozambique, part of the largest repatriation witnessed in sub-Saharan Africa. An additional 4 million internally displaced persons had returned to their homes. In December 1999, Mozambique held elections for a 2nd time since the civil war, which were again won by Frelimo.
Much of the economic recovery which has followed the end of the Mozambican Civil War (1975-1992) is being led by investors and tourists from neighbor South Africa and from East Asia. An number of returning Portuguese nationals have also invested in the country as well as some Italian organizations. However, the country reamins as one of the poorest in the word. (Facts from www.wikipedia.org)
(Photos taken by Heather Neufeld on 25 June 2012)