Saturday, May 1, 2010

Did You Miss It?

It was "Queen's Day" or "Koninginnedag" yesterday!

You celebrated, right?

One of the interesting things here about interacting with people of other nations is the ability to learn a little about their culture.

For the Dutch (people from the Netherlands), Queen's day is a celebration of the Queen's birthday and it's supposed to be a day of national unity and togetherness.

They have open markets all over the country.  I imagine it's the biggest flea market and yard sale that you've ever seen.

The Dutch national colors are Red White and Blue, but many of the decorations that are used during this holiday are orange, as the Dutch Royal family is referred to as the "House of Orange."  It's called the "orange craze" or "oranjegekte" where orange is everywhere.

Here, we had orange banners and streamers decorating the dining facility, and of course, several orange foods were served.  (I admit that I'm cheating on this picture... It was taken a few weeks ago on a day when much of the food was also orange.)

The Dutch contingent here had their own little party set up outside, and many of them were wearing orange shirts and hats.  One young lady was wearing a traditional long dress.

Open Air concerts and festivities are part of the experience back in the Netherlands, making it a popular time to visit and for homecomings.  If you ever want to go, you must plan ahead... A little research let me know that you'll have to book your accommodations months in advance!

Though I'm sure many of them missed the all day experience from back home, they brought a spirit of fun to the base for a few hours.

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