Somali Independence Day will be commemorated this weekend in the Twin Cities as Somalis in Minnesota celebrate the 52nd anniversary of their country's struggle for independence.
A celebration takes place 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday in Minneapolis along Lake Street between Blaisdell Ave. and Pleasant Ave.
Officially July 1, Somali Independence Day commemorates the founding of the Republic of Somalia when it gained freedom from British and Italian rule in 1960. Minnesota is home to one of the largest Somali populations outside of Somalia. Many Somalis here hope to return, while others have permanently settled and call Minnesota their own Mogadishu.
Abdi Phenomenal, one of the organizers of the celebration was a guest on MPR's All Things Considered.
Phenomenal says the celebration helps people of ages remember their heritage.
"I think it bridges the gap here. The youth growing up here kind of feel a sense of identity, a sense of self knowing that, you know having their history and their culture and where they're from live in front of them that day. And for the older generation, it brings memories of back home of when they used to be home, what it used to feel like and what unity felt like," Phenomenal said.