Happy Kingsday, Tulips and more!

In: Dzhem Chavush

19 May 2016

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Last month has been a very busy month for everyone! There were lots of events to attend, a lot of parties to go, a lot of celebrations to do and thankfully a lot of sun to absorb and I will tell you all about it!

It was one month ago when black cars entered the campus lined up behind each other and when the guys with black sunglasses, with headsets in their ears and all suited up exited the black cars. I would say it was a scene from a movie only if I didn’t know Ban KI Moon was visiting our university that day! It was an exciting day for us because we would get to listen to Secretary General of the United Nations and for Ban Ki Moon too, because he was receiving the World Leader Cycle Award from our university.

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He highlighted the importance of world peace and being a global citizen. He stressed the importance of developing ourselves and having great ambitions for the future and for our world. He mentioned the needed progress on the sustainability and gender equality. He connected with the young students by telling his story of growing up and the struggles he had to go through. At the end it was an inspiring moment for everyone who attended the event. It is also very nice that our university is a place where we can host great and interesting people around the world.

Keukenhof

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If I ask you to tell me what comes to your mind when you think about the Netherlands, I bet “tulips” would be somewhere high on the list; probably coupled with “cheese” and “windmills” =)

If you have never heard of it, Keukenhof is a small place between Rotterdam and Amsterdam; a little bit closer to Amsterdam with 35 km distance and is literally full of tulips. If you are even remotely interested in tulips, this is the place to go but even if you are not interested in tulips this is a nice touristic attraction to visit in the Netherlands.

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We took the train to Leiden and took a bus designated for this only to go to Keukenhof. When we first saw the queue of people waiting for the bus we were a bit dazzled, but at the end it was alright.

After we arrived the place, the first thing we realized was that there were way more people there than we imagined! It was filled with people being all tourists and doing touristy things like taking photos in front of every tulip they can find :).

Speaking of tulips, there are 800 varieties of tulips and 7 million tulips blooming in Keukenhof, which makes it vividly colorful. There were also other types of flowers too.

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Yes, a windmill in a tulip field, can it get any Dutchier than this? 🙂

Although there were a lot of people on the windmill, it was totally worth the wait. It was around this time when we started feeling the effects of the strong wind and decided to slowly walk towards the exit to end our visit in Keukenhof. I would definitely suggest to check the wind and rain before visiting, but then again, you should always do this here in the Netherlands. 🙂

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Keukenhof will be open again in 2017 between 23 March until 21 May 2017 when tulips start blooming again. 😉

Happy Kingsday!

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Kingsday is a very big day in the Netherlands! Kingsday used to be Queensday (Koninginnedag) and it was the birthday of the Queen Beatrix but actually it was not her birthday but it was the former Queen Juliana’s birthday and she decided to keep it because her own birthday was on January and you can imagine that it would be pretty cold to be on the streets. However since last year it is now called Kingsday (Koningsdag) and is the birthday of the King Willem-Alexander.

Confusing right? Well what is important, is that it is a day of celebration and partying! A lot of drinking, dancing and more drinking!

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Some people really take it to the next level. 😀

All of the country is covered with the color orange and it is a time to observe “orange madness (oranjegekte)” when everyone and everything is in orange; the national color of the Dutch.

For this year we have decided to go to Amsterdam. We went to Amsterdam and took a boat to go around the city.

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It is an amazing experience, the streets are filled with people celebrating! I actually quite like the Dutch music taste as they like electro dance music and it was also easy to find nice spots on the streets to dance with other people!

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In this particular spot, people were just dancing with some great music and suddenly 10-15 policemen showed up out of nowhere and the music was cut off. They pulled someone from the crowd and interrogated him on the side, I didn’t understand why they took him, but soon after the music was back on.

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At one point I was talking to a Dutch guy and he started telling me about this story of why the Dutch people like to celebrate on the water. He said there used to be two landlords; one “land landlord and one water landlord”. The Land landlord was very strict and didn’t allow people to party whereas the Water landlord in fact did celebrate, and that is why people went to water to celebrate and party. This is the reason Dutch people go to water to celebrate.

Now I couldn’t tell whether this guy was just messing with me or whether he was serious, but it stays a story to be verified by the Dutch. 😉

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Even the little ones are joining the celebrations!

If you are in the Netherlands, definitely join the Kingsday celebrations and don’t forget to pick up your orange stuff and facepaints.

2 Responses to Happy Kingsday, Tulips and more!

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Marcel

May 26th, 2016 at 14:52

Nice blog: “At one point I was talking to a Dutch guy and he started telling me about this story of why the Dutch people like to celebrate on the water. ”

This made me laugh :p. I think he was messing around with you. I think the reason that we love to party on the water is because there is so much water! Although I like his story.

Enjoy your time in the Netherlands and at the EUR – had a great time studying there.

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Dzhem

May 27th, 2016 at 23:47

Hi Marcel, thanks for the reply! I am also really enjoying to study here. The Netherlands is a great place to live, study and to party!

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