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Columbia celebrates 212th Independence Day

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Today, July 20, 2022 marks 212 years since the Republic of Columbia gained independence from the Spanish Empire in 1810.

Has your mind ever wondered where Columbia is located, and have you ever wanted to know more than just its location? Let’s go on a virtual tour, shall we?

Where is Columbia?

The Republic of Columbia can be found in the northernmost end of South America, hence it is nicknamed the “gateway to South America.”

Its capital is Bogota. It is the fifth-largest country in Latin America and home to the world’s second-largest population of Spanish-speaking people.

To the North, it has its borders with the Panama and Caribbean Sea. To the south, it shares its borders with Ecuador and Peru, to the East, it shares borders with Venezuela and Brazil, and it has its entire West coast meeting the Pacific Ocean.

Per square kilometer of land in the whole world, Colombia is the most biodiverse country; with the most flowers, animals, and so on.

The population, ethnically, is massively mestizo; mixed with European and indigenous descent and a considerable minority of African ancestry.

Due to it being part of the Spanish Empire, the official language spoken there is Spanish. There are over 70 other languages spoken. Columbians are dominantly Roman Catholics, with just a few indigenous groups sticking to their traditional religions.

Do you recall there is an African ancestry? Then, we do have certain things in common, particularly our food. Do you know how it feels when you go to a place where you cannot eat as though you were home?

Columbian Flag and meaning

The colours are Yellow, Blue, and Red, and the Coat of Arms in the middle.

The Yellow

Just like that of Ghana, talks about the richness of Columbia. The culture; diversity.

The Blue

It represents the Bio-oceanic country; the Pacific and Atlantic oceans around them, and also the water bodies inside Columbia; representing their interconnectivity with nature.

The Red

It represents the blood and sufferings of the forefathers, particularly in their quest to obtain independence.

The Coat of Arms in the middle

It has two oceans; the Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans. It also has the colours (Yellow, Blue, and Red), and the Eagle means freedom, and reaching higher heights as the Eagles flies high; representing the Colombian as free-spirited and happy people.

They love celebration. So, every month of the year, in about every week in the month, there is a festival for everything; food, animals, flowers, music, film, fashion, food carriages, even “trotro” (public transport buses) festival, and a lot.

This is just like Ghana’s isn’t it?

Below are Some staple foods

Some of the most common ingredients in Columbian dishes are cereals such as; rice and maize; tubers such as potato and cassava; did you open your mouth or raise your brows in awe? Yes, they have “bankye” (cassava).

There are also varieties of legumes, meat, including chicken, beef, goat, pork, fish, and all the various seafood you would want. When it comes to fruits, there are; pawpaw, mangoes, and pineapples, you mention. Now, I am sure you are wondering whether or not you are in Africa.

Just as diverse and rich our culture is, particularly with food, among the various ethnic groups in Ghana, so is it in Colombia.

Some foods you would want to try when you get to Colombia. Though with names you cannot even pronounce. It is all adventure.

Patacones- Fried green plantains

Sancho de gallina- Chicken soup with root vegetables

Ajiaco- Potato and corn soup

Arepa- Round bread from cornmeal, can be eaten with butter and cheese toppings or made into a sandwich or simply eaten alone.

Bandeja Paisa – It is a one-plate dish normally consisting of steak, ground beef, chicharrones, rice, beans, an egg, avocado, an arepa (You know what that is now) and plantains.

And oh, there is “bofrot” called Buñuelos- Buñuelos can best be described as fried dough balls that are somehow simultaneously sweet and savoury. You can find some filled with cheese, but the Colombian version is fairly plain and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Wetting your appetite?

Just so you know, in Columbia, the last name of the father is used first after your name before any other follows.

The Ambassador of Columbia to Ghana H.E Claudia Turbay Quintero appreciated Apiokor on Citi TV’s “Diplomatic License” programme for pronouncing her name correctly.

With all of these similarities between Ghana and Columbia, we wish Columbia a Happy Independence Day.

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