January 10, 2017

Dutch activist denied Swiss passport over cowbell row

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 11:48 am

The Swiss have hit back at Dutch vegan activist Nancy Holten who has been living in Switzerland for most of her life by denying her request for a Swiss passport for the second time. The local political party of her canton said no because they feel she “has a big mouth”, claiming that cows wearing cowbells was akin to animal cruelty and has been vocal about church bells being rung at 6 am in her village. And she’s not a fan of the local tradition of racing piglets, either.

In Switzerland, locals sometimes have a say in the naturalisation requests of people in their canton, and in Holten’s case, a majority were against it. Now her request is in front of the ‘Conseil d’État’, the council that decides on cantonal matters. Dutch site Joop.nl when relating this story told of a family from Kosovo who were refused Swiss nationality because they walked around their village in jogging suits and the locals didn’t like that either.

Activism aside, according to Swiss site 24heures, Holten is the ideal candidate and had been given a positive review in the beginning of the process. She’s been living in Switzerland for 34 years, speaks the local Swiss German dialect, provides for her three Swiss-born daughters and has never committed a crime. Holten says if her village is not going to let her get a Swiss passport, she’ll move down the street to the next village where the decision on naturalisation is made directly by a Board without any input from locals.

In the comments section of 24heures, the opinions range from ‘piss off back to the Netherlands’ to ‘the Swiss pride themselves on direct democracy only when it suits them’. And then not in a jogging suit.

(Link: 24heures.ch)

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January 3, 2015

Dutch activist demands less cowbell in Switzerland

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 7:36 pm

Dutch vegan activist Nancy Holten living in Switzerland has apparently upset the Swiss by claiming that cows wearing cowbells was akin to animal cruelty. The Swiss media was straight up in their answer and told to move back to where she came from if she didn’t like their culture. Holten has been widely labelled as a complainer since just before Christmas, she complained about church bells being rung at 6 am – too early in her opinion – in her village.

According to Wikipedia, cowbells have been around since the Iron age and have been used on cattle around the world. However, in September 2014 Swiss researchers did conclude that cowbells are often too loud and too heavy. The problem is that having foreigners complain about your traditions is not always the best way to go, something the Dutch deal with six months out of the year before Sinterklaas.

(Link: frontpage.fok.nl, Photo: Dutch cows sans cowbell)

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November 5, 2013

Lou Reed’s Perfect Day rings out in Groningen

Filed under: Music by Orangemaster @ 10:36 am

The story goes that the late Lou Reed was in Groningen in November 2008 for one of Laurie Anderson’s (one of his wife’s) concerts. He was invited to visit the Martini tower to have a look at its carillon. The city’s bell ringer Auke de Boer gave Lou and Laurie a tour and let them play the carillon. Lou was very interested in this historical instrument and later gave his permission to use Perfect Day for a special event on the carillon. The tribute was played on Saturday 2 November 2013 exactly 5 years and one day after Lou and Laurie visited Groningen.

The bells kick in at 0:27.

(Link: trendbeheer.com)

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April 24, 2012

Dutch to cast monster bell for London Olympics

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 6:52 am

A huge 23 tonne bell, to be the largest in Europe, will be cast by Eijsbouts in Asten, North Brabant for the Olympic Games in London this summer. The British media is miffed because the contract was supposed to be handled by the British company Whitechapel, but they subcontracted it to Eijsbouts yesterday. The reason given was “the bell was sent overseas because it [Whitechapel] lacked the facilities to cast it here.” To me this reads as ‘we couldn’t do the job, but we wanted to score the contract’ and sounds weird because another British company, Taylor’s, claims it could have done the job in the UK. And part of the London 2012 specifications was insisting that the bell is cast in this country.

So why did the Dutch get the order? Enter complaints about losing work in Britain and about foreigners making the Brits look bad. Then again, the organisers are the same brilliant people who wanted to have The Who’s deceased drummer Keith Moon play at the opening ceremonies. He died way back in 1978. I can only deduce that subcontracting was cheaper, cheap enough to ignore specifications.

We know the bell could have been made in the UK by Taylor’s, the largest bell foundry in the world, but Eijsbouts is making it, a company that also claims to be the largest bell foundry in the world.

(Links: nos.nl, www.mirror.co.uk, www.loughboroughecho.net)

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March 17, 2009

Ring your bells later, father

Filed under: Religion by Orangemaster @ 2:15 pm

Way back in August and December 2007, we posted about a Tilburg pastor who rang his church bells way too early and who got fined for doing so.

And since I love a good trinity, the city council has now ruled that the bells can only be rung after 7:30 am.

Priest Harm Schilder claimed the right to call the faithful to prayer as part of religious freedom. OK, but city council thinks the neighbours have a right to be woken up with their own alarm clocks at a time of their choice.

(Link: dutchnews.nl, Photo: bells, Valkenburg, Limburg)

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December 27, 2007

Court finds for noisy Tilburg pastor

Filed under: Religion by Branko Collin @ 2:55 pm

A court in Breda has found that Tilburg priest Harm Schilder is allowed to harass his neighbours by ringing his church bells far too loud at early hours. Although the court (LJN: BB8689) recognized that the city had the authority to impose fines and make rules limiting the noise levels its citizens are allowed to reach, it also pointed out that there is state law that overrules city law in this case. Specifically, the “Besluit woon- en verblijfsgebouwen milieubeheer” (Decision Housing and Living Buildings Environmental Management) states that churches are allowed to make as much noise as they want when calling the flock (“1.1.2. Excluded from determining the noise levels are […] the sound required to call one to practice their religion or life philosophy”).

Call me a cynic, but I’ve got a funny feeling that this ruling won’t stand long once the first mosque starts making use of this privilege, and the usual demagogue crowd will start howling “terrorism”.

Via BN/DeStem.

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