Monday, June 14, 2010

Unity in Diversity: The Netherlands

Today the Netherlands are playing Demark in Johannesburg.

This is their flag

I’m going to tell you a little bit about the Dutch soccer supporters and what has been going on over there during the build up to the Soccer World Cup.

They are absolutely crazy about soccer! They call it voetbal (football) over there and over the past five weeks, Holland has slowly, but not quietly transformed to bright orange!
Multi-storey buildings that were once grey and drab have now undergone a metamorphosis, houses and shops are all orange!

Like us, they have flags hanging from their cars and school children have been sporting the soccer uniform for weeks!

Every advert on TV has something to do with soccer. Shops that don’t ordinarily sell any form of fan gear are now selling orange hats, horns and flags. Some stores are running promotions whereby fans can collect 32 mini soccer balls, each one bearing the flag of all the participating nations. There are also mini badges with the participating county’s soccer jersey on it.  Soccer fever has spread far and wide!

The Waka Waka song by Shakiera and Freshly Ground has got Hollander’s dancing and bopping. The Coca Cola song “Just like the wavin’ flag” by artist K’naan is also a big hit.

The Dutch soccer Mascot is a mighty lion.

He has also been featured in nearly every TV advert and you will find him on all the fan gear.  The Hollander’s have a new saying that, the land of the big five (One of the Big Five is the lion) is the land of the champion. Meaning, they are champions because their mascot is a lion and he lives in Africa and that is where their team will be playing.  

Some of their favourite match time snacks are platters of cheese and sausages made from various meats, cut into small pieces. Another favourite is Bitter ballen. It’s a small ball with meat inside and that is deep fried in oil for a couple of minutes. Then, once it has cooled down, it is dipped in mustard.  These platters are selling like hot cakes at the local grocery stores as fans are stocking up on match time munchies!

The Hollander’s are pretty patriotic and they support their team 100%. They want the World to know that they may be a small country, but they have BIG team spirit!

Go Holland!


  1. Hey Dom
    A truly fantastic post! Well done! I am sure that your readers are going to relish every morsel. I certainly have learned a few things from this fabulous post! Keep up the good work.

  2. I am crazy about the lion suits! We get a LOT of snow up here in northern Michigan and I just bet that one of those would keep me warm as toast all winter long☺