The Dutch are known for going crazy on days like Kingsday and during the games of the National Team, named after their national color; Oranje. Our flag is red, white and blue, but our national color is orange, you can read why in one of our other articles.
But we don’t only stand together in good times. As a Dutch I have to admit that I am very proud of what my country has done over the past one and a half week. Thursday July 17th will forever be a dark day in our history, since we lost 196 of our citizens on flight MH17, with people on their way to vacation or work-related assignments. Next to that there were also almost 100 people of other nationalities that we cannot leave out. It was all very tragic, and I would like to leave that in the middle. What I want to focus on was what it felt like for society, and since I can’t speak for everyone I will speak for myself when I say that it felt like a big warm hug. I live in Hamburg in Germany, but it still felt as if I was amongst all my fellow country people grieving over the lost lives. On Wednesday 23rd of July the country was in a National Day of Mourning, where the flag went half-mast, radio stations played appropriate music, had no commercials and were all about supporting the whole country, also television had a different schedule and at 4.00pm when the victims arrived in the Netherlands the whole country was silent for one minute.
This is one example of a country out of many being a nation, where the language you share and the passport you have does not make you one, it is supporting each other in good and bad times and feeling connected to each other.