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Boston City Council designates new holidays to celebrate Cabo Verdean and Somali Independence Days

The Boston City Council announced on Wednesday a resolution to mark July 5 as Dia di Kabuverdianus Na Boston, or Boston Cabo Verdean’s Day. The council also passed a resolution designating July 1 as Somali Independence Day.

Cabo Verdean Day celebrates the country achieving its independence from Portuguese colonialism while Somali Independence Day focuses on the unification of the Trust Territory of Italian Somaliland and British Somaliland.

The resolutions were brought to the City Council by Councilors Tania Fernandes Anderson and Ruthzee Louijeune. The new designations, which are both unpaid municipal holidays, go into effect immediately.

In a tweet, Louijeune posted photos from the meeting holding a bright blue Somali flag with her colleagues.
“Beyond thrilled to sponsor a resolution to recognize July 1st as Somali Independence Day,” she said in the tweet. “Thank you to my sister in service [Anderson] for co-sponsoring, this resolution passed unanimously.”

Anderson, who was born in Cabo Verde, said that Boston is home to nearly 60,000 Cabo Verdeans, making it one of the largest Cabo Verde communities in the country.

“Cabo Verde was one of the several Western African nations that engaged in a protracted struggle for its national liberation and independence,” Anderson said during the meeting.

“We have long roots in the area having begun our journey to the area in the early 19th century, and some would say it goes back all the way to the 17th century,” she continued. “Particularly in Boston, we exerted a power presence with our people, our food, our art, our music, our labor, languages, and more.”

Paulo Amado De Barros, president of the Cape Verdean Association of Massachusetts, said the holiday is an amazing thing that should have been put in place a long time ago. He noted that the association will be celebrating the day with Cape Verdean food and music, and that Councilor Anderson and State Rep. Liz Miranda would also be in attendance.

“We need to be recognized. We’ve been paying taxes and have been a part of the growth of the Boston economy for many years,” he said. “I’m very pleased and happy with what the city council and Councilor Anderson did because it’s been a hope of mine that one day this would happen and it happened.”

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