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Two Independence Days; one big party

July 02, 2013 12:00AM

Miguelangel Diaz is looking forward to his first U.S. Fourth of July celebration.

Miguel Diaz mug shotIn previous years, Diaz, a Pittsburg State University senior from Venezuela, has been with his family, preparing to celebrate that nation’s independence from Spain. Their celebration is on July 5.

“In my country, we are a big party people,” Diaz said. “People like to go to the beach and be with family and friends.”

They have fireworks, he said, although he’d rather watch a big display than set them off himself.

And just like Americans, Venezuelans are apt to tack an extra day onto their weekend when the holiday falls on Thursday.

“We call it a bridge,” Diaz said, smiling.

Venezuelans share something else with Americans.

“We’re big fans of barbecue. Every time we go to the beach we barbecue,” Diaz said.

He described in great detail the perfect way to grill his favorite fat-encrusted piece of beef. In Venezuela, he said, it is not so much about the sauce as it is the flavor of the meat. He has high praise, however, for American smoked brisket, licking his lips at the prospect.

Diaz said he is eager to attend the events scheduled in Lincoln Park, Thursday. And although he knows there will be differences from the celebration back home, Diaz is discovering that the recipe for the perfect Independence Day celebration is the same both in the U.S. and Venezuela: good food, fireworks and friends and family.

©2013 Pittsburg State University