DEN HAAG AND INDONESIA INDEPENDENCE DAY
Independence Day celebration in Indonesia reminded me when I celebrated it in The Hague.
My friend invited me to join her to visit the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in The Hague. We took the train from Amsterdam. A massive celebration with an open stage and bazaar with all the dishes and ornaments from Indonesia.
At that time I just believed that many Indonesians living and working in the Netherlands. Many tents served Indonesian food and Indonesian souvenirs imported from Indonesia. Big and small.
The place was roomy and shady with big trees.
Meals served from appetizers to the main course. For various reasons, I did not know what I would eat. My main problem while traveling. I could not make decisions when faced with many choices like this.
First thing first, we first went to the open stage to watch the opening ceremony. The ambassador opened the event after Saman dancers performance. Then continued with the Indonesian National Anthem. I was very proud to sing the song. It felt very different when singing Indonesia Raya in other countries. Far from family and relatives.
Then the other shows continued. We walked back to the bazaar area that was filled with the aroma of Indonesian cuisine. I was in Holland for a long time. Somewhat it felt strange to meet many Indonesians. They spoke Indonesian with so many dialects.
Not to mention the decorative food stalls with big banners showing off their special food. I was amazed by their banner ‘NO. 1 in the Netherlands’. Hahaha … when I approached the tent the food was bakso (meatballs). Of course, everyone likes meatballs.
Some buyers had carried plastic bags. I wondered how they had so quickly bought all the goods and food when the show opened half an hour ago.
I met new friends here. Some brought their families or just their spouses. My friend introduced them to me. I also met friends I already knew before.
After we finished lunch we headed downtown. This was my first trip to The Hague, so we decided to take a walk into town.
The Hague (Den Haag in the Dutch) is the center of Dutch parliament and government. The Hague is also known as the world’s judicial capital because many international courts are in this city. However, The Hague is not the capital of The Netherland, but Amsterdam.
It was a sunny day, but I wore a knitted jacket with a leather jacket. My friend did not feel cold at all. She only wore t-shirts.
We walked aimlessly. Our feet took to the central courtyard of Binnenhof. We entered the gates of The Knights’ Hall or Ridderzaal to the east of Binnenhof. A historic 13th-century building still used in the opening of parliamentary sessions every year in September and for other country receptions.
Then we entered the big mall. Indoor shopping center with luxury shops. Starting from international or local brands. I was amazed at how big this shopping center and all the antique decorations in every corner and wall of this building. Especially the ceiling with large skylight windows. There are more cafes, restaurants, shops, boutiques outside the shopping center.
Then I know that the area where we were window shopping is the Noordeinde area. Same area as Noordeinde Palace. One of the best shopping spots in The Hague. This district not only caters to buyers but also art enthusiasts. Gallery of paintings, artwork and antiques and jewelry. This street was originally known for its many antique galleries and dealerships.
We walked through more cafes, restaurants, shops, galleries and many more stores. The road leads us to the Noordeinde Palace. The palace is surrounded by an elegant shopping street. This is where King William-Alexander works and where special events for the Royal Family take place.
Our time is up. We had to rush on the train back to Amsterdam. We passed Chinatown this time. Not much we can see, only the gates of Chinatown from a distance and some street decorations. Our friend was kind enough to take us to the train station.
This post is also available in: Indonesian