Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pais Korsow!!!!!

Today is a historic day for that beautiful has become the newest country in the world. The Netherlands Antilles has ceased to exist. This concept was created in 1954 when the six remaining islands under the Dutch colonial rule became an independent partner within the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Aruba, Boanire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eutatius (known as Statia) and Saba. They became known as: The Netherlands Antilles. This association lasted until 1986 when Aruba negotiated for a place of its own within the Kingdom. The remaining five islands stayed together.

In a world of economic ups and downs and with little natural resources, The Netherlands Antilles found strength in numbers. At the same time, the differences in economic circumstances, size, mentality, language (Curaçao and Bonaire speak Papiamentu as their everyday language, St. Maarten, Statia and Saba speak English) and the fact that they are scattered in the vast Caribbean Sea made for an uneasy union. It's been one long period of disagreements, small frictions and a need for a solution. Finally it has come to this: Bonaire, Statia and Saba are now part of the Kingdom with no independent government. St. Maarten and Curacao are becoming countries in their own right, independent but still within the Kingdom.

At the stroke of midnight on 10-10-10 it was Curaçao's turn. Crown Prince Wilhelm Alexander and his wife Princess Maxima were in attendance as were political figures, consuls, important persons from the island. There was celebration and canon fired, fireworks and, I am sure, a bit of sadness. It is the end of an era. Most people I know have lived under this structure all their lives. A new era has started and the people of the island are full of hope and energy. They are prepared to do a lot to make this work. I have no doubt that they will. As a friend pointed out: a lot of people call their countries motherland, but no other people call themselves children of their country when expressing their nationality. Curaçaoans call themselves: Yu di Korsow, (child of Curaçao) My congratulations to all...masha, masha PABIEN!!!!!

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