April 29, 2006

Queen's Day; Orange belongs to Beatrix

Theo, Liesbeth, Michele and Sietske

Orange is the national color of Holland. It has its origins in the fact that the Queen of Holland comes from the house of Orange (beit el Portugaal), and therefore we wear orange whenever there is a national event. These days that’s just soccer matches and speed skating competitions.
Joke, Theo, Sietske and Marijke (Do all Dutch names end in -ke?)

But once a year, just once a year, we celebrate Queen’s Day. It is supposed to be on the birthday of the queen, but since our present queen, Queen Beatrix, was born somewhere in January, under subzero temperatures, we have stuck to the birthday of our former queen, Queen Juliana, and we celebrate this on April the 30th.
And on that day, we go out in force, and we got out in orange. Everything orange. And we party, and we drink, and we dance, and we sell our old junk on the street side, and we play games, and we make music, and we eat, and we have fun.

These days, our orange has been high jacked however. First by a bunch of revolutionaries way over in the Eastern Europe. Can’t think of the name right now, but it’s that guy they tried to poison with dioxin.

And now we have here our local Hezbollah Hero, Aoun, who made the unfortunate choice of choosing orange for his scheme. Couldn’t he have thought of something else? Green? Purple? Blue? Anything but orange.
Because as I got out of my car yesterday evening, to celebrate our Queen’s Birthday at the St. George with all the other Dutch out here, all in orange, I could just see the people passing by in their cars thinking; “Oh look, Aoun supporters.”
I used to have a lot of respect for this man, until he, for whatever the reasons may be, sided with a bunch of fundamentalists, who know where the place of the woman should be, and it ain’t alongside the man, I can tell you that. How can you ally yourself – as a man who used to say he wanted to deconfessionalize the nation - with a bunch of guys who believe in an Islamic Republic? This is beyond me. The guy has tainted the beautiful orange color of the Dutch, and personally I think the Dutch government should make a case out of this.

No more orange for Aoun, it belongs to Beatrix. Party was a bit on the stale side. Too many 'decent' people maybe. And we only found out they had herring until we were about to leave. Luckily for use, the Lebanese didn’t think the thought of chewing on raw fish with raw onions was very appealing, and had left the herring stand alone. But the bitterballen were great. (Thanks Tarek, who brought them in from Holland personally.
Joke and Marijke
Michele (l) and Alexandra, and Joke and Marijke
who is dressed up in a national costume

Theo gives a demonstration of
How to eat a herring'.

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