William is from England. He is preparing to watch his favourite sport on television. It is a soccer match between the football teams of England and Scotland. Just before the game starts, all the English players line up to sing God Save the Queen, the national anthem of the United Kingdom. It was customary. The camera moves across their faces as they sing proudly.
Do you know what is a national anthem? A national anthem is a patriotic musical composition that praises the people and traditions of a country. In most countries, the national anthem is played on national holidays and festivals. It is also sometimes played at the beginning or the end of the sporting event. In Olympics, the national anthem of the country of sportsman winning the gold medal is played while he is on the podium. Playing of national anthem in another country is a mark of international recognition of that country. In some countries, the national anthem is played to students each day at the start of school.
Gayatri lives in India. She is the best singer of her school. Today, she is all set to sing Jana Gana Mana, her country’s national anthem on stage to mark beginning of their annual day. It was a proud moment for her. Gayatri was standing still. Her hands stretched straight by her side , and her body was taut. That was the code of conduct to follow while singing the national anthem.
Did you know that particular etiquettes are involved in the playing of a country’s anthem? These usually involve standing up, standing straight and removing headwear.
Daniel is a South African. His country has 11 national languages. His nation’s anthem is hybrid musical of five different languages.
Many countries where people follow may different cultures and languages, have national anthems in mixed languages. New Zealand national anthem is a mix of Maori and English. Indian national anthem is a highly sanskritized version of Bengali but with nouns that are used in almost all the languages across the country.
Francisco lives in Spain. His country’s anthem La Marcha Real has no words but is only a tune. It is one of the three national anthems (along with that of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Kosovo) in the world to have no official lyrics.
National anthems often mention history and struggle of the nation. The oldest national anthem is the Wilhelmus, the Dutch anthem, written between in late 15th century during the Dutch Revolt.
Where are you from? Tell us something about your national anthem.