Wednesday, May 2, 2012

God save the Queen's Parties

April, the 30th, 2012. Queen's Day. After Queen's Night. In Amsterdam.

From Utrecht, we took the train to Amsterdam Zuid. Before getting on the train, before arriving at the train station, you could tell that today is a bright celebration. Queen’s day. Orange day. Believing in monarchy or not, it is a celebration. People just need opportunities to gather and celebrate after all… From how I felt it, it is not that much the Queen they celebrate. It is togetherness.

Almost everyone was dressed in orange. Orange-painted faces, painted little Dutch flags on chicks, girls with orange tights, orange T-shirts and orange mood…

In the market someone could find not exactly but he wanted, but things he would never thought of buying before… Among many precious, old, useful or not things, kids were selling home-made cup cakes, lemonades, orange-juices… The independence of the kids in this country is exceptional. You could admire the creativity and courage of little kids that had set their own performance in small places around the Vondelpark. A little girl dressed traditionally Spanish, was dancing flamenco. Some children were playing the violin. Each one alone. Two girls with afro-hair were dancing hip hop with a little stereo playing music. Some little girls had set up a puppet house. Little boys break-dancing. Trampolines. Drawings. Kid’s performances out in the park… I was thinking about all those children who don’t even dare to leave their mother’s hand…

Adults were like kids too. Same enthusiasm. Large companies sitting on the grass, playing various musical instruments, drinking, eating, laughing, dancing. An old couple was sitting next to each other smiling at the people passing. So adorably tender. Many couldn’t resist taking picture of them. People in balconies. People having lunch and playing music right out of their house door, in the street. Balloons.

Crossing the Vondelpark, towards the city center, there were parties all over. Improvised. On every bridge of the canals. In narrow or wide streets. On boats. Different musics popping up in every turn. Feeling lost in the crowd, the rhythms and the city was success. It was like time didn’t matter for a day. Nor ethnicity, age, maps, looks, work, stress, worries, debts, deadlines, exams… That’s togetherness.

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