Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ordinaire genoeg?

Back in Amsterdam meanwhile we hear that the 'Jonny' Jordaan festival might have to leave the Jordaan for the first time in 55 years since it was started. The Jordaan is an area to the south-west of Central Station and was known as an area where poor people tended to live, poor people but people with a heart of gold. Lots of pubs and cafes and a tradition of singing and home to a number of subsequently very popular Dutch pop singers such as Jonny Jordaan and Tante Leen.

Needless to say that the area has been considerably yuppy-fied in the last 20-30 years, the locals moving out to new towns like Almere and Purmerend, their places being taken over by young professionals from the provinces. However, the Jordaan festival is one of the old traditions which is still carried on, usually on the second weekend of September. It is very popular and has been held by the Westerkerk for the last four years.

The local council for central Amsterdam has said that the festival has to move because it causes far too much disturbnace ot local residents (most of whom are the new yuppies I mentioned above). The council received a total of three (yes, 3) complaints from local residents last year and this is the basis of their decision. The tyranny of the minority. Not only did these three yuppies complain about the noise but at least one complained about the public attending the festival being 'ordinaire' (what we would call common in English). The cheek of it!

It is a pity that despite the fact that we had local council elections last year, the new council feels it has to carry on this senseless policy of stopping any event on the basis of the complaints of a few people, who no doubt profit from the fact that they live in the capital city but want to keep it for themselves.

[I should note that the women depicted in the photo above were photographed during the Hartjesdag festival, something completely (?) different].

On a different issue, I would just like to mention that it has been to my mind to buy energy saving lamps a few times the last few weeks, but never quite got rund to doing so. I was therefore quite glad to see that the new government is thinking of subsidising people to buy them and thereby save electricity... which means I can wait and profit from the subsidy! Excellent!

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