Welmer de Groot
The wonderful thing about traditions is that they bring people together, make them proud of their community.
When I was little, we used to have an orange market (Oranjemarkt) in my school. I’d sell used stuff and sweets, the start of my career as entrepreneur. My most unique memory of King’s Day was when I worked in the kitchens of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. I helped to prepare the King’s Day banquet for the King and around 250 guests for his 50th birthday celebration. That was an amazing experience. The King employs his own kitchen brigade but for big events like state visits and King’s day, extra personnel are hired.
As an added bonus, the staffs get to stay at the Royal Palace during the preparations. That was an amazing experience. It was like going back a hundred years in time. Everything about it was majestic: the ancient palace interior, the beautiful uniforms of the servants. Even the soap had crowns on them. And then the view: imagine waking up in a royal palace with a splendid view of the Dam square.
Contributing to the festivities like this is my way of celebrating King’s Day. I prefer this to the massive parties where everyone gets drunk. Also, getting drunk is rather inconvenient because resits are often scheduled directly after the celebrations…
I think EUR should focus more on traditions at the university. I had worked as an Air Force reserve for some time. In the military, they have a lot of traditions and celebrations. The wonderful thing about these traditions is that they bring people together, make them proud of their community. They are very empowering and help create a strong bond. Moreover, traditions consolidate unity between a diverse group of people. At EUR, we should celebrate being part of the EUR community much more intensely than we do now. Our aim should be to organise traditions and festivities in such a way that all members of the EUR community can take part and feel included.