Monday, May 3, 2010

Koniginnedag and other celebrations

Koniginnedag is Queen Beatrix's Birthday. Not her real one, but the one as queen. She ascended to the throne on April 30th, 1980 on her mother's , Queen Juliana's, 71st birthday. Every year The Netherlands and Dutch subjects around the world celebrate with gusto. This year's Queen's Birthday came and Dutch subjects around South Florida gathered at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach. Our Consul General, Lucita Moenir-Alam, decided to have the annual party at a larger medium since it was her last. She is being transferred to Trinidad-Tobago as the ambassador of the Kingdom. An honor indeed and one richly deserved. I have known her since she was working at the Foreign Office in Curacao. I was working for the Business Journal, a small newspaper on the island, writing a series of articles on successful women. I interviewed her and was very impressed......positively sure she'll go far. She has.....

I digress, as always. The whole point of this is the celebration....and it was a very nice one. There was good food from Holland, exotic drinks from the islands and good company. There was a mixture of Dutch, Antillians, friends of the Netherlands, diplomats and the group to which I belonged: Dutch passport carrying citizens that are proud to be included in the Kingdom. Yes, yes, I do hear you! Kingdom? you'll say. What is this? in this time and age?. Trust me, it makes you proud to have received the honor to be Dutch. Aren't you proud of your country? what if you became an American citizen? are you proud of that?....see? On to other things, then!

Celebrations this time of the year are plentiful for me. There is Easter close by, then my birthday, then Queen's Day and then Mother's Day. Somehow they all come together in the Spring and really make for a wonderful few weeks of cheers. I look forward to each one of them. All would have been celebrated in a bigger fashion if I was still living in Curaçao, but thankfully, I can still celebrate all of them here!! Well, most of them....I can't celebrate Labor Day on May 1st; for that I would have to get back to the island. This year the celebrations took four days!!!

Don't kid yourself, public celebrations are as important as private ones, especially in Curaçao. I have to say that there are few places on Earth were you can have equal time to both. Take this past weekend: a grand flea market in the center of town, an International Food Fair at a tennis club, vendors and street fun all over the city, days off for schools and government offices, private ones as well, fireworks and private celebrations at the beach or at people's homes. This weekend rivals Carnival! When it comes to celebrating, this place has no equal. I do miss that and hope one day to celebrate the meantime: on with the party!!!

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