Monday, 16 June 2014

Dutch Integration: Orange, the World Cup and Holland

Unless you are living under a rock you are probably aware that the World Cup has kicked off in Brazil - and the Netherlands has already played their first group game.

And what a game it was. The current world champions were catapulted off their pedestal. The image of bugs lying on their backs frantically moving legs and arms in the air came to mind watching the Spanish during the match on Friday night. It was tremendous. World Cup history in the making.

Five times. I could have tweeted this five times.

Out of nowhere the Dutch football squad made the world sit up and take notice. As my dad commented, now the World Cup has really started. It was mesmerising to see the boys in blue demolish the team that beat them in the World Cup final four years ago. And that is football - one moment there are tears and the next moment fans are back slapping each other and whooping for joy.

So with the victory of 5-1 under their belts the Netherlands is ready to take on Australia this Wednesday. Even if you are not a football fan, you'll know when it's happening because it will be noisy, and every Dutch person you know will be dressed in orange.
And this was my update Friday morning - before the match.
I expect this figure to rise to 97.3% for Wednesday's match.
Before the World Cup started you probably noticed a small build up of pockets of orange flag lines emerging in streets. It cannot have escaped your notice that orange flags with lions and Hup Holland Hup were slowly being hoisted up flag poles. By the time Brazil and Croatia had kicked off there were streets that were what can only be described as orange. Other streets had a more modest scattering of orange paraphernalia adorning them.

Orange - it's the exterior design colour of the moment in the Netherlands

Now that the first three points are in the bag in such a spectacular fashion you may have noticed that the orange is spreading. Almost overnight orange things have spread their tentacles over more houses, businesses and street furniture. And the further the Dutch team progress in the tournament, the more orange things become.

Monuments turn orange. Food and drink become orange. Cars and bikes become orange. Hair turns orange. You name it - it starts turning orange.

And if you want to fully integrate in to Dutch society there is nothing you can do but join in. Embrace the orange. Go and buy an orange shirt. If you want to achieve expert integration level then you'll need to go full hog and invest in a few metres of orange flag lines and a flag with "Holland" on it. This is the one time in two years (this happens every European Championship and World Cup)  foreigners can call the Netherlands Holland and not get chastised by the locals, so make the most of it. Wave that 'Holland' flag around like you just don't care.

The country will be partying until the Dutch World Cup is over, however long that may be. And let's hope that is right up until Sunday 13 July. HUP HOLLAND HUP!


  1. It was a fabulous way to start Holland's run this year! I hope it was indicative of the games to come. Hup Holland Hup! I'll be wearing orange for the next month :) ~Ree

  2. It was a brilliant start - long may it continue!!!!!

  3. David Hadfield18 June 2014 at 11:39

    Just Goes to show what they could have achieved if they had played some football 4 years ago intstead of just trying to kick lumps out of their opponents. Great result for the dutch thorougly deserved the win and on that defensive performance Spain deserved the spanking. Just a shame England couldn't finish all their chances. Enjoy the game tonight.

  4. Well deserved it was David. 4 years ago - it would have been nicer to see more of Friday's performance for sure......

    Not sure 'enjoy' is the right word for tonight's game - but it was certainly a good one for the neutrals! Pffff, a victory, 3 points and the right track.
    Next up Spain...... nail in the coffin? We'll see! And then tomorrow England.......