Posts tagged ‘The Netherlands’

October 11, 2018

Happy National Coming Out Day!

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Logo created and donated by Keith Haring to the Human Rights Campaign. DLCS

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) Logo created and donated by Keith Haring to the Human Rights Campaign. DLCS

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual LGBTQIA+ awareness day observed on October 11 and 12 in some parts of the world. Founded in the United States in 1988, the initial idea was grounded in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, and the emphasis on the most basic form of activism being coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person. They believe the foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views.

In more recent years, the idea of the “lesbian and gay community” has been largely subsumed into the idea of the LGBT community, and the idea of “coming out” expanded to not only include the voluntary self-disclosure of a lesbian, gay, or bisexual sexual orientation, but also transgender, genderqueer, or other non-mainstream gender identity.

Coming-Out Day has (also) been held in The Netherlands since 2009. Even in a country like The Netherlands, that is incredibly safe and very tolerant and open compared to many other countries, it is necessary to pay attention to creating more awareness for this topic. 

Unlike the Gay Pride and Roze Zaterdag in The Netherlands and The Belgian Pride in Belgium, there is no big central celebration on Coming-Out Day, but in several places smaller activities are organized by local gay and youth organizations, whether or not in cooperation with heterosexual sympathizers. Some information about activities in  The Netherlands today:

I wish you a Happy and safe (inter-) national coming out day, because I believe it is very important that YOU can be yourself. I hope agression and ignorance will one day be minimised.


And.. ThX Wikipedia.

September 18, 2015

Bluegrass concert@Home Of Art tonight

Last time Cousin Daddy played Bluegrass Music for us at Home Of Art, we had a beautiful sunny day and now it Seems we are lucky again! See you tonight? Music from 20.00h, but you’re welcome any time before! Oh and if you dress in Style and wear a jeans overall, Home Of Art offers you a drink on the house

May 5, 2014

5 May in The Netherlands

Happy Liberation Day to my fellow Dutchies!


Bevrijdingsdag DLCS

Bevrijdingsdag DLCS


Today we celebrate we are FREE. Yesterday, 4 May, we thought of those that are not.


For this cause there are lots of festivals and parties today, while the country has only just recovered from its first Kingsday.


Kingsday 2014 DLCS

Kingsday 2014 DLCS


For more information in English about 4 & 5 May in The Netherlands, click HERE


For the complete program for all the festivals and parties today (Dutch) CLICK HERE   


My tips: Remember the Amsterdam Klezmer Band?  Check: Today @19.00 they play in the Westerpark in Amsterdam and you can listen to them for FREE.


Het Vrije Westen

Het Vrije Westen


Plus not to forget; for a classic (and one of the best!) FREEDOM party: visit the Homo Monument.


Homomo:Bevrijdingsdag DLCS -photo taken from Facebook:

Homomo:Bevrijdingsdag DLCS -photo taken from Facebook:

March 24, 2014

President Obama in Amsterdam

President Obama just visited our national Museum, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

What a circus, what a show, quite impressive! I managed to get a good shot of his chopper.

Pres.Obama@Ams by DLCS Management

Pres.Obama@Ams by DLCS Management


For all news in Dutch, check out the Amsterdam local tv channel AT5 (Dutch only).

September 19, 2013

The Netherlands’ most famous restaurant critic, Johannes van Dam, died

The Netherlands’ most famous restaurant critic, Johannes van Dam,  died yesterday in the OLVG hospital at the age of 66. Johannes van Dam (1946 – 18 September 2013) was a Dutch journalist and the country’s best-known writer on food. Van Dam wrote a regular column on food for the national daily Het Parool for almost 25 years. He was an authority on food; his reviews, though mainly positive, could lead to a restaurant being closed down. He also published several books about food and cooking. The most successful of these was the De Dikke Van Dam, a 700-page opus covering food from A to Z. It’s still on my list!

Johannes van Dam by Maartje Strijbis

Johannes van Dam by Maartje Strijbis

Picture taken by Maartje Strijbis of and (Dutch), a multitalented culinary and cultural centipede.

April 19, 2013

Spring at last?

It’s been a long winter here in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Everyone seems fed up with it, it’s time for Rokjesdag!

Spring. Museumplein IAmsterdam by DLCS management

Spring. Museumplein IAmsterdam by DLCS management

September 19, 2012

The Queen’s chair

This is the throne that our queen sat on yesterday! I just left the Ridderzaal in Den Haag


May 4, 2012

Nationale Dodenherdenking (Remembrance of the Dead) & Bevrijdingdag (Liberation Day)

On May 4th the Dutch remember the people who have fought for and died during World War II, and wars in general; Dodenherdenking. Traditionally, the main ceremonies are observed in Amsterdam at the National Monument on Dam square. This ceremony is usually attended by members of the cabinet and the royal family, military leaders, representatives of the resistance movement and other social groups. Throughout the country two minutes of silence are held at 20.00. Public transport is stopped, as well as all other traffic. The flags hang at half-staff.

On May 5th the liberation is celebrated and festivals are being held in most places . Liberation Day; Bevrijdingsdag is celebrated each year on May 5 in the Netherlands to mark the end of the German occupation during the Second World War.  The nation was liberated largely by Canadian troops and to thank them each year thousands of Tulip bulbs are sent to Ottawa where the annual May Tulip Festival is held.

The government reminds everyone that on May 4 we have to remember and on May 5 we can celebrate;

4 mei vieren, 5 mei herdenken.

This year is the first of many years Bevrijdingsdag takes place on a Saturday, it seems like there are many more parties and festivals throughout Amsterdam this year because of that. I kind of made it a tradition to celebrate at a gay party next to the gay monument (Homomonument). It’s a bit of an extension of Queensday… Where will you celebrate Dutch Liberation Day?

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April 21, 2012

Koninginnedag is coming up!

Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, celebrated on 30 April. Koninginnedag is Queen Beatrix’s official birthday. Though Queen Beatrix was born on 31 January, the holiday is observed on 30 April as it was the birthday of her mother and predecessor, Juliana.

Koningin Beatrix

Koningin Beatrix

The first time Koninginnedag took place, it was celebrated on 31 August 1885 as  Prinsessedag or Princess’s Day, the fifth birthday of Princess Wilhelmina, heiress to the Dutch throne. On her accession, the holiday acquired its present name, Koninginnedag. Following the accession of Wilhelmina’s daughter Queen Juliana in 1948, the holiday was moved to her birthday. Her daughter, Beatrix retained the celebration on 30 April after she took the throne in 1980. Koninginnedag is known for its nationwide vrijmarkt (“free market” or flea market), at which many Dutch sell their secondhand items. Those taking part in Koninginnedag commonly wear orange clothing in honour of the House of Orange-Nassau, which rules over the Netherlands, causing “orange madness” or oranjegekte, for the national colour; everyone becomes patriotic.

When Queen Beatrix succeeded her mother Juliana  on 30 April 1980, the new queen decided to keep the holiday on 30 April as a tribute to her mother. The reason was practical as well—Beatrix’s actual birthday on 31 January is less conducive to the traditional outdoor activities.The birthday of the Queen’s son and heir, Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange is 27 April.


The future king; Willem Alexander with his Argentinian-born wife Maxima & their daughters Amalia, Alexia & Ariane by ANP LEX VAN LIESHOUT

Willem-Alexander, Maxima & prinsesjes by ANP LEX VAN LIESHOUT


Koninginnedag is the one day of the year that the Dutch government permits sales on the street without a permit and without the payment ofvalue added tax. Koninginnedag now sees large-scale celebrations, with many concerts and special events in public spaces, particularly in Amsterdam. The Vondelpark is reserved for children and their activities. The city centre is closed to cars, and no trams ride in the heart of the city; people are urged to avoid Amsterdam Centraal railway station and use other stations if possible from their direction. International trains that normally begin or terminate at Amsterdam Centraal are instead directed to a suburban stop.

In recent years parties and concerts have been held the evening before Koninginnedag; Koninginnenacht(Queen’s Night). Many young people celebrate in the streets and squares (and in Amsterdam, the canals as well) throughout the night, and after all-night partying join the crowds at the vrijmarkt. Street parties on Koninginnenacht are this year permitted from 19.00 untill 23.00, after which party people generally move inside to clubs and bars.
Queensday Museumplein 2011

Queensday Museumplein 2011

In The Netherlands, unfortunately we work on May 1. I have already asked permission to sleep a bit longer before going to work that day.

Koninginnedag is for me the best party of the year! Have you ever heard of it? Are you in The Netherlands these days? What are your plans? P.S.: I was looking for my own old QDay pics, can’t find them. I’ll make new ones this year,ok?



(With a bit of help from Wikipedia.)

January 26, 2012

Japanese in Amsterdam

As you might recall, Ms Hiroko Shimbo asked me (over HERE, scroll down for the comments) to research the Japanese community in Amsterdam. She mentioned that years ago when she visited Amsterdam, she used to buy ingredients to prepare Japanese food in Chinatown. Nowadays there’s a modest but very good offer of Japanese stores. Japanese people in the Netherlands include expatriates from Japan and their Japanese citizen children, as well as Dutch citizens of Japanese ancestry. There were 7,524 persons of Japanese origin living in the Netherlands as of 2009, according to the figures of the Statistics Netherlands office.In general, they are transient foreign residents employed by Japanese companies. According to a 1996 survey, 80% of Japanese in The Netherlands consist of Japanese company employees and their families. Another 10% are Japanese civil servants on overseas postings, researchers, and students. The remainder were long-term residents, largely Japanese women married to Dutch men. Most live in Amsterdam. However, there are also about 150 living in Maastricht, mostly employees of Mitsubishi and their spouses and children.

The best places I know to buy Japanese ingredients are the following two;

Both stores have messageboards, flyers and posters of Japan-related events in and around Amsterdam. There are a few more Japan related organisations in and around Amsterdam;

And of course most famous Japanese restaurants in Amsterdam are Yamazato; and Sazanka; in the Okura Hotel. Unfortunately I have not visited these yet. Yamazato is ran by chef Akira Oshima, who became the first Japanese chef in the Netherlands to be awarded a Michelin star – and the restaurant has snapped one up every year since. Oshima’s achievements were recognized in 2006, when he received a Dutch royal decoration.

The Okura Hotel also has a culinary studio and offers Japanese workshops and cooking classes.

More info on Hiroko Shimbo;

Raging Asian Women Tako Drummers at Muhtadi International Drumming Festival photo by Muhtadi at Flickr

Raging Asian Women Tako Drummers at Muhtadi International Drumming Festival photo by Muhtadi at Flickr


Do you know more Japanese places in The Netherlands that are worth checking out?

And 1 more question; does anyone know if it’s possible for me to have lessons in Taiko drumming in The Netherlands?