As a very, very dear, new blogger, shall-remain-anonymous friend at Detention has so eloquently put it, what does one*DO* on Labor Day? Blogos featured a guest speaker to muse about this same question, which reminded me of the Labor Day I saw in Germany – a wholly different affair from our quiet non-descript holiday. In Germany, Labor Day is full of union speeches, parades, and various demonstrations calling for more workers’ rights… Let’s look… well, here’s a quote from Wikipedia:

In Germany, Labour Day was established as an official holiday in 1933 after the Nazi Party, or NSDAP, rose to power. It was supposed to symbolise the new-found unity between the state and the German people. Ironically, just one day later, on May 2, 1933, all free unions were outlawed and destroyed. But since the holiday had been celebrated by German workers for many decades before the official state endorsement, the NSDAP’s attempt to appropriate it left no long-term resentment.

On the other hand, Germany’s Unity Day (October 3rd) – which I guess we could equate to our Independence Day, sort of – is treated the same as our Labor Day: quiet, uneventful, just a day off. So we seem to have switched the way we embrace our Labor Days and Patriotic Country Days. For Germany, there are fireworks for the people. For the US, there are fireworks for the country. Is this indicative of how we define ourselves? I dunno. I don’t really celebrate either day, but after reading JM’s post, I’m thinking May Day would be a good place to start. And with Detention’s questions still in my mind, I know I want to find something to really *DO*.

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