‘Racist’ Dutch carnival song about the Chinese
Dutch carnival songs are usually catchy, funny, tacky, use bad electronic keyboards and dumbed down enough so that everybody can sing along. After a lot of beer and in the right mood, it can work. However, the past few years have produced songs of a xenophobic and dare I say ‘racist’ or culturally ignorant nature.
In 2007 happy hardcore hit ‘Een bussie vol met Polen’ (‘A bus full of Poles’, a cover of ‘Een bossie rooie rozen’ (‘A bunch of red roses’), set to the tune of Edith Piaf’s ‘La vie en rose’) by Vlemmix & Roos was controversial, but this year a ‘racist’ carnival song about the Chinese community by duo Anita and Ed has taken first place in bad taste.
Dutch Chinese author Lulu Wang (who was probably asked to politely balance out the article, let’s be honest) has no qualms about lyrics like “A Chinese cannot see what’s above or below, in fact, he sees everything through a slit” and everybody wearing traditional pointy straw hats and black braids in the video. She argues that “the song reflects Dutch feelings of impotence toward the Chinese in the Netherlands, who are doing increasingly well.” I guess that’s one way to see things, and that last part is true, statistically speaking. I cannot imagine everyone shares her view, Chinese or not.
What if the song were about Moroccans or Turks? Or Antilleans? Or… Muslims? Think about it while watching Een bussie vol met Polen, paying hommage to the hard working Poles trying to build a life in the Netherlands doing jobs the Dutch won’t do.