The second-smallest continent of the world has many stories to tell. From the dramatic lineage of its many royal families to the legendary revolutions, upheavals and resettlements, to the variety of produce and flavours it produces as a result of its contrasting geology and climates, Europe has it all, and has seen it all. And yet, here we are.
Its rich history is a culmination of what it is today. Where Prussia is now Germany, where the kingdoms of Italy are now unified, where Britain is now joined to France by an underwater tunnel, Europe now stands hand in hand as one body with several other nations, with Russia being the largest and the Vatican City being the smallest. There have been wars a-plenty, yet here we are, Schengen and all.
But what does it mean to be European? 77 years ago, this mass of land was almost at the cusp of a eugenic status quo, on the border of a terrifying reality where skin colour, religion and origin determined your right to be alive and European. And yet, here we are.
Jean Monnet is mostly identified as the founding father of the European Union, a concept where countries united in the joint effort to eliminate all possibilities of a third world war. Europe Day serves as a reminder to us all that such a noble endeavour is what truly makes us European – the common belief that no race is superior or inferior to another, and that above all, peace and humanity are the ultimate way forward.
Europe is currently facing some very trying times. There’s Britain toying with the idea of leaving the Europe, terrorist attacks shaking the cores of our democratic values, and the fearsome rebirth of Nazism. Let Europe Day remind us all of our past mistakes, and how much our ancestors had endured for us to get to where we are now. Let us be truly European.