Due to some confusion I want to restate and emphasize that we are holding Hetalia Day on SUNDAY, October 26th!!
We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause people. We would have held it Saturday, but the pavilion we’re using was already reserved for that day.
If you go through the list of meetups in our directory, you’ll see that meetups happen as early as September and as late as November—whenever it’s convenient for local fans.
If there’s no meetup in your city, how about hosting it yourself? As long as you’re 17 and older. It doesn’t have to happen this weekend: it can be in the following weeks.
Here’s the experience of Fay, a first-time organizer.
Okay, sappy post time. Not even sorry.
I’ve been in the Hetalia fandom for about 5 years now (I feel so old XP) and, I noticed something at Roundtable at AWA this year, and today, too.
At Roundtable, I had to stand in front of a room of over 100 people by myself and keep them entertained for an hour without freaking out - most of them stayed (to talk about HISTORY of all things!) the entire panel and pretty much flat-out demanded I do another.
Today, I was able to join in on conversations without a problem, I planned an entire meetup, I was myself.
Man, I danced idiotically in a bright orange squid hat in downtown Atlanta. And I DIDN’T. EVEN. CARE.
At my first Hetalia Day, I had people coming up to me and just start talking to me, being nice to me and having conversations with me, they absorbed me into their group as soon as I walked in, making me feel welcome, and now I’M the one hosting the meetups and trying to extend that same welcome.
This never happened to me in all the fandoms I’ve been in before this. Granted, I did meet plenty of nice people and everything, but I was still really freakin’ shy and just lurked around. I did (and still do) lurk in Hetalia, but they also came to me and welcomed me personally, let me know I was included.
I gotta say, I’m pretty impressed. If I never got into Hetalia, or went to that first APH Day meet, I never would have met even half the amazing friends and people I have, never imagined hosting meet-ups or panels, staffing cons and talking to hundreds of people a day, never met my awesome penpal, any of it. Every con I go to, I see groups of people who always run up and say ‘hi’, or give me a big hug, even hang out and have lunch and stuff - when only a few months before I really got into the fandom, I could barely even say “hi” to someone or ask for a picture. And yeah, I still have trouble some times, but it’s a hell of a lot easier overcoming that paralyzing shyness than it used to be.
I can have discussions on the impact Prussian military strategy made on the world with 13-YEAR-OLDS. Middle and high schoolers are sneak-reading non-fiction history novels in art classes. I’ve seen conversations between several people from complete opposite parts of the world having relaxed in-depth conversations about cultural differences and global impacts those cultures have had.
All because of a webcomic.
THIS is why I keep hosting meetups, this is why I run panels, because the people I met through this are amazing. I love seeing people being able to dork around with people they usually don’t get to hang out with, having fun, being stupid, and actually speaking up and socializing and just being themselves - because that’s what flippin’ happened to me, and I want everyone to be able to have that because I’m so much better for it.
And yeah, like any other group, the Hetalia fandom has it’s crap, and some of it can be made worse because of the nature of the fandom, but you can’t tell me all this isn’t awesome and FANTASTIC.
I’ll admit, I’m REALLY into SnK right now, it’s my newest “big fandom”. I’m looking forward to a season 2 of Free!. Kuroko no Basket always makes my heart happy.
Every fandom has some kind of impact on you, but Hetalia was freakin’ HUGE for me, definitely as far as personal growth goes. My self-confidence and socialization has skyrocketed; I still get nervous and shy, but I’m SO much better at interaction and just being myself than I was in grade school and even not too long ago.
It sounds dorky and sappy and stuff, but I don’t care. Yeah, I’m “moving on”, I guess you could say, to other fandoms. While I’m not necessarily leaving Hetalia behind (you never truly leave a fandom behind: nostalgia), I’m focusing more on SnK. But you can’t just ‘cast aside’ something like that. I’ll keep hosting Hetalia meetups and panels as long as there are people who still want them, regardless of what my current “big fandom” is, because it was that huge for me.
It might sound blown out of proportion or just stupid nerd feels, but, coming from the shy, quiet person who was too scared to hardly say a word and was ignored, teased, and stepped on for 95% of my life, yeah, this growth is fantastic. It wasn’t all the Hetalia fandom, and we still have our bad spots, but it definitely gave me the stepping stones to get to where I am now, and to keep going.
So whether you got to go to a Hetalia Day meetup or not, whether you’ve been in the fandom from the very beginning, or just watched/read your first strip/episode this morning, I hope you had a fantastic day.
Buon Hetalia Day a tutti!
Sharing again a beautiful post from last year :)