When you have moved across countries like I, one takes on some of the celebrations of the new country and keeps some of the old.
April 30 is Queen's Day. For you who do not realize it, Holland has had a queen for four generations, and the next one in line, will finally be a King! ( crown prince Willem Alexander). On Queens Day (in Dutch: Koninginnedag) this year 72 years old Queen Beatrix celebrates her 30th year of reign.
When a town is big enough to have a mayor the village or town or city will have something going on as a celebration, for kids as well as adults. Many street games are organized near the city
Everyone will wear something orange, because the royal family is known as The House of Orange.The queen and other members of the royal family used to stand on the platform in front of the palace, to wave at everyone who comes by (yes, many hours of waving!! Their arms must be so sore the next day:)). Don't know if they have kept this tradition. Reader Wil informed me that Queen Beatrix now visits 2 towns with her family and participates in the celebrations.
In her gold carriage on the day of the Opening of Parliament in Sept.
Politically seen I know she is a figure head, but she still can veto a few things of the parliament and ministers though (we have a different political system than in the USA)! When you have grown up in a country where a president or whatever the ruler may be called is chosen, there is not that special bond with the royal family.
It's somewhat different than with a celebrity -you acknowledge the queen of king, not because of a certain skill, but because of their birth, which is a place of favor and honor. Actually I like it, everyone should be honored for who they are, instead of a skill that is popular.
Surprizingly, queen Beatrix is the richest of the royals in Europe, behind her comes Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, according to the BBC news, third is Hans Adam II of Lichtenstein, and fourth Queen Elizabeth II from the Great British Empire.Since the richest, all three are from small countries, I'm kind of stymied about how that works?
Something cultural, but a very different subject is ice-cream. When we were in China a few years ago we only once found a booth where they had different kinds of ice-cream. On my birthday we were eating in a restaurant. I tried to ask for ice-cream, but I did not see it on the dessert list! A young family was sitting in hearing distance from us. When I was trying to make myself clear to one of the waitresses who understood a handful of English, I saw a little boy looking through the lattice partition at me.
I heard him say, "What do you want?" in perfect English. That got my attention, because he was obviously Chinese.
Then he ran back to his parents. And his mother told me, "They don't have ice cream here."
From this family we found out that the only ice-cream they usually sell in China is in packages in a freezer in little 7-11 type of stores. That was the year before the Olympics.So, may be it changed.
Banana Split -image is from transfairusa.org
So, the other day, in our weekly Skype conversation with our son teaching over there, he very excitedly told that a dairy queen had come to town. He lives in a university city, not too far from Shanghai, where there were 6 KFC's (Kentucky Fried Chicken), a Pizza Hut, several Mac Donalds, and one Starbucks at the airport.
The prices of the ice-cream were comparable to western standards, which is much higher than the Chinese, but he just wanted a good banana split! With tongue in cheek he told me that when he and his 3 other friends were waiting for their ice-cream, a few Chinese people came in. The reason was, that they saw foreigners standing in a store, so it must be good ! And it must be a cool thing to eat!
Foreigners in this city are treated like celebrities When we were there, we got waited on hand and foot, and we were stared at continuously! My first reaction was, oh, you're just exaggerating... to... no, it is actually true...to... I wish I could make myself invisible...to...being very cautious about where my belongings (since all foreigners are rich!) were at all times!
Glad to get back to the USA and blend in with the crowd!