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THE UK: Latest News

Student Blog: The Jubilee celebration from the "shore"

Find out what it's like to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee in London itself? Find out from Alejandra, a former international student still living in England's capital...

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'As many other British and non-British people, I will get myself down to the Thames riverside to watch the Queen, majestically cruising the river with the rest of her family as part of the Jubilee pageant. It is, indeed a special occasion: 2012 marks the 60th year since Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne and the whole nation is coming together to celebrate what it means for them (and somehow for me too) to have a Queen.

Along with Londoners and tourists, I will be watching her from the shore, admiring the elegance and solemnity for which the Britons are known around the world.

However, the whole occasion only makes evident how different my culture and how my situation as an international graduate from Colombia living in London influences my perspective on this celebration. I am also contemplating this from the ‘shore’ of my own origin.

 It is very particular to think of the concept of "Queen" when you come from a country that long time ago gave a chance to democracy and independent rule. Without assuming that one is better than the other, it makes you realise that this world is so diverse and somewhat full of contrasts, that you might wonder how on earth we have managed to live together without the world imploding.

And yet, I definitely admire how proud most Britons are of their past and history, despite all the changes, wars and other social conflicts that British society suffers as any other. This discovery wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the fact that I am right here, in London, in the centre of it all!

Studying in the UK has meant more than international education, it means watching a society (for which you might just be a mere visitor) evolve and grow around you and, somehow, become part of its history.

It is almost inevitable to get involved in the celebrations. Even with all these thoughts going around my head about how to really give myself the chance to ‘become British for the weekend,’ I cannot help but think that this is going to be an opportunity of a life time.

So, here you have a list of websites and other useful information you can get hands on to join the Jubilee fever this weekend.

Celebrations for this weekend:

  • The Big Jubilee Lunch (Sunday 3rd June): More than 10,000 street parties have been arranged for Sunday as part of the ‘Big Jubilee Lunch'. People will gather with friends AND neighbours in what can be deemed as ‘British Culture’ at its best – food and drink up to the brim! Find out where here.
  • Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant (Sunday 3rd June): One of the biggest gatherings of boats ever on the Thames is also taking place on Sunday. Over 1,000 boats from around the world will be making their way down the river, all centred on the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh who will travel in the Royal Barge. Visit the official site to see the route and the best place for you to watch the parade.
  • Live Big Screens (Sunday/Monday/Tuesday): If you can't get to London, don't worry, all the celebrations are being shown live on big screens around the country. Find out the closest screen to you
  • Buckingham Palace Concert (Monday 4th June): The BBC is hosting a huge concert with some of the biggest names in music, at a unique location- Buckingham Palace. Paul McCartney, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, JLS and Kylie Minogue are all performing among others. Find out more.

To find out more about the celebrations, and events happening in your local area, check out the official Jubilee website.

Happy Diamond Jubilee!'

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