A party with embroided handkerchiefs and grannies
As a follow-up to the project Liefde in de Stad (Love in the City) and going online and letting grannies embroider your handkerchief, I went to the actual ‘Smartlapje’ (handkerchief) party with lots of grandmothers, children, bubbly, cakes, tea, coffee, an entire choir and a decor that turned Paradiso’s usual rock stage into a cozy living room, with couches, carpets and lamps.
The ‘smartlapjes’ were hanging everywhere, as decoration
Yesterday’s Sunday matinee event was free and was indeed mostly populated by women, serious national media attention and bloggers like me. One grandmother got up and danced quite a bit once the choir (shown below) had finished singing and the DJ started (a woman whose niche market is retirement homes), while others sang the Dutch classics along with the choir, word for word. I did my best on ‘Geef me maar Amsterdam’ (roughly, ‘For me, it’s Amsterdam’) by Amsterdam accordion player and singing legend, Johnny Jordaan.
This charming, fun event proved two things: cultural subsidies are much more important than you’d think for community spirit building and that the horribly negative press about the bad effects of multiculturalism in our nation’s capital is complete and utter nonsense.