Never have I celebrated Republic day so enthusiastically. Here in Netherlands I found a new way to make it special- by performing a patriotic dance on stage:
The Bollywood Amsterdam group which I am a part of planned on performing to the ‘ABCD Vande mataram song’. We had 17 days at hand and we managed to concoct a partly jazz, hiphop and Bollywood dance show. The costume was plain white shirt and black pant to keep it simple. The venue was Amstelveen –the Indian Hub of Amsterdam. The organization “Bridging the gap” organizes these Indian events which provides a good get together and means of networking for Indians in Netherlands.
We sensed kindergarten vibes when we entered the building. Much to our dismay there were only kids performing at the show and we happened to be the only adult dance team. We were stocked up as the last and closing performance of the day. The initial performances were of kids singing slokas, cute children dressed in Indian wear dancing for Punjabi songs and even some dutch kids dancing. The room was clamorous with occasional bursts of cry from kids and parents rushing them out. It was time for our performance!!
We got ready for it and entered from backstage. We were in for a surprise- the stage WAS for kids-it was too small to fit us in. We barely managed to stand in it leave along move freely and dance. Our initial few steps were messed up due to our shock but we soon got used to it
You can see the dance here- Youtube video
On the whole the dance seemed energetic and patriotic. The final show with flags turned out to the killer. It came out just as planned and we got a round of applause.
Indian bites organized small canteen with tasty indian snacks. We got around and took some pictures and went to a friends home to party.
It was my first new year outside India. I wanted it to be crazy. We decided to do the ‘New year dive’ –the dutch tradition of jumping into the icy cold waters of the north sea at New year Jan 1 noon. We signed up for it and went to Zandvoort for it. It did not disappoint us :D. The day was sunny and the beach was refreshing. There was a tent and a bunch of people standing with orange caps. We too went, registered and got the orange caps. There were about thousand people gathered for the event. We were stunned by the magnitude of it.
I had planned of doing the dive with a bunch of friends and they all arrived. We got ready for the dive-changing into our swimsuits! There were people of all ages- yound kids to old people and also dogs who came for the dive. Half an hr before the dive organizing team cheered us to dance, jump and making us form a Mexican wave. The clock struck and it was time!
People ran like crazy into the waters. Just when I went in I realized I had never exposed myself to such cold waters in my life. It was freezing and I could not feel my legs anymore. We ran back to the sands from the water. It was the case with most of the people. We came back to the starting point and tried regaining consciousness in our legs. It was crazy.
Just when we were settling down one of us challenged to go in again. We , out of our minds, ran again into the waters. This time, deep and dancing and jumping inside the waters. That was something to remember.
We came back and got dressed. Unox ,the sponsoring company , provided us with free soup. We returned back to the city searching for a cozy café but alas we could not find any. We finally gave up on our search for café and went into a greek restaurant. Ten of us were there and we socialized for sometime. It was a nice beginning to the new year!