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#National_Celebration hashtag sheds light on festivities’ negative side

By Faten Omar

KUWAIT: On the 25th and 26th of February every year, Kuwait celebrates its National and Liberation Days, where children throw water balloons or spray water guns at each other. This kind of celebration has become a controversial topic on social media, as some supporters say it is just two days of fun, while others are angry about how the celebration took another turn.

Trending on Twitter, the hashtag #National_Celebration went viral, showcasing citizens’ points of view on celebrations with water balloons. Citizen Ali Awadhi said he almost lost a family member because of a water balloon. “On the highway, someone threw a water balloon on my mother’s car and almost caused her death. The sound of a balloon filled with water bursting can cause an accident out of fear,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ministry of interior said an expat was arrested for throwing a water balloon on a police patrol. But people on Twitter slammed some of the comments that blamed the Asian expatriate. “The expat is imitating the rest. The law must be applied correctly on everyone, from young to old, especially punishing parents for this kind of upbringing that does not have love and appreciation for their homeland. Then blame a stranger,” Hind Hayat tweeted.

“Some of the comments are inhumane, as someone who was enjoying the celebration was deported and terminated from work for having fun like the rest of Kuwaiti citizens!” a citizen said. The citizen denounced celebrations by several children and a young person, which indicates that their parents were not qualified to raise an aware generation.

Others blamed the reckless behavior of Kuwaiti youth. Mohammad Salem noted that throwing water balloons was not only limited on Gulf Road, but also in residential areas that are not meant for such celebrations.  “I saw many young people throwing water balloons and spraying water on helpless workers going to work,” he said, pointing out such scenes are not acceptable, as the humble, poor worker goes on foot to fulfill his needs, not to play. “Children must be respectful,” he added.

Citizen Talal Al-Enzi denounced a video on social media showing youths intimidating a woman inside her car by shaking her vehicle, stressing such scenes do not reflect celebrations of the National Day. “I do not think that these young men have morals; they are being insolent under the pretext of celebrations,” he said.

For his part, Abdulaziz Al-Fadhli said: “It is sad to see some educated people taking the issue of throwing water balloons as a simple matter that does not need this fuss! This behavior is causing harm to people, exposing their lives to danger, and causing fights that may have consequences. And it is a waste of the wealth of water.”

Meanwhile, Hussein Obaidly affirmed that targeting people with water balloons and spraying them with foam, and gathering of children on the roadsides is a bad way to express joy on the occasion of the National and Liberation Days.

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