Tunis, 20 March 2023 (TDI): Today Tunisia celebrates its 67th anniversary of Independence Day. Tunisia commemorated the day with national celebrations, parades, and fireworks.
Tunisia gained Independence from France on the 20th of March in 1956, after a result of a long struggle and the efforts of many Tunisian nationalists, including Habib Bourguiba, who later became the first President of Tunisia.
The struggle for independence included peaceful protests, strikes, and political organizing. On March 20th, 1956, the French government agreed to Tunisia’s demands for independence after negotiations with Bourguiba.
The Tunisian flag was raised for the first time, and Bourguiba gave a speech announcing the country’s independence.
On this occasion, Tunisia celebrates the day with national parades and fireworks. It is a day for Tunisians to reflect on their country’s history, celebrate their independence, and renew their commitment to building a strong and prosperous nation.
Researchers and archaeologists have called Tunisia an “Emergence of the Nations” Tunisia’s geographical location has meant that many different peoples have entered and dominated the country. Probably the original population was Berber-speaking.
An era of invaders began with the Phoenicians, who settled Carthage, used it as a trading base, and eventually entered a losing conflict with Rome. Under the Romans, who dominated Tunisia for several centuries.
After the decline of the Romans, the Vandals invaded from the west, followed by a Byzantine reconquest from the east. The Byzantines were replaced by Muslim Arabs from the east through the land, in the seventh century.
Tunisia has been predominantly Arabic-speaking and Muslim since then, though dynasties have come and gone. After 1574, Tunisia was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire.
During Ottoman rule, Tunisia was an autonomous province. Under its Turkish governors, it attained virtual independence.
Everything came crashing down in the 19th century when the Bey of Tunis attempted to modernize the country’s economy.
Due to unsuccessful reforms, the international debt of Tunisia grew unmanageable. This paved a way for France to establish a protectorate in the region in 1856.
Tunisia remained under a French colony for nearly 100 years. The first independence movement in Tunisia was formed in 1907.
The country’s earliest political parties striving for independence were the Young Tunisians, the Constitutional Liberal Party (Destour), and the New Constitutional Liberal Party (Neo Destour).
Neo Destour was led by Habib Bourguiba, later he became the leader of independent Tunisia. Even though the French authorities banned the Destour party and jailed Habib Bourguiba, he continued to lead the independence movement from behind bars.
In 1954, the French government offered Tunisia limited autonomy, which was rejected by Bourguiba and the Neo-Destour Party. The following year, Tunisia was granted full internal autonomy, and Bourguiba became the country’s first prime minister.
Negotiations for full independence continued, and on March 20th, 1956, the French government agreed to Tunisia’s demands for independence. The Tunisian flag was raised, and Bourguiba gave a speech announcing the country’s independence.
Tunisia is historically an agricultural country, and agriculture now absorbs 22 percent of the labor force; about 20 percent of the country is farmland.
Rain-fed agriculture dominates and concentrates on wheat, olives, and animal husbandry. Wheat is mainly used domestically, and Tunisia is a major world producer of olive oil.
The national government after independence continued to develop phosphate and other mines, and to develop processing factories near the mines or along the coast. There is some oil in the far south and the center.
Efforts to develop heavy industry (such as steel and shipbuilding) are limited. More recently light industry has expanded in the clothing, household goods, food processing, and diamond-cutting sectors.
Some of this is done in customs-free zones for export to Europe. Tunisia’s exports include light industry products and agricultural products, such as wheat, citrus, and olive oil. Imports include a variety of consumer goods and machinery for industry.
Food and Cuisine
Traditional Tunisian cuisine reflects local agriculture. It stresses wheat, in the form of bread or couscous, olives, and olive oil, meat (above all, mutton), fruit, and vegetables in daily life.
For ceremonial occasions, they use sweet or colorful dishes, usually in addition to couscous. For weddings and other happy occasions, sweets are added to the couscous.
Also, animals are slaughtered for religious gatherings, and the meat is shared among the participants as a way of symbolizing togetherness.