Today, a multicultural night at the Riviervismarkt in The Hague.
People from many national backgrounds (Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian Kurdish, Indian Surinamese Dutch,”autochthonous” Dutch, South African, Chinese …) were present.
Posters on the wall, including of zebras and king penguins.
A Caribbean Dutch presenter asks an Iraqi organizer whether religious men from Muslim countries would not object to the role of her, a woman.
Not at all, he says; we are a cultural organization, not a religious one.
So, after people had eaten something, she announced the first poet on stage, being yours truly.
I read two poems on Iraq: one on a five-year old girl; one on a four thousand-year old vase.
There was interest among the audience in having them translated into Arabic.
After me, Bas Knuttel, singing and guitar.
His songs included Loveless Rita, on hardline Dutch immigration minister Rita Verdonk.
Then, a Chinese opera song.
After a pause, two more poems by me, on “My world”, and on Dutch Princess Mabel.
Then, more songs by Bas Knuttel.
And a three hundred years old Mongolian song.
A poem in English by David from The Netherlands.
Then, songs by Najam Murad Khan from Pakistan.
Many people started to dance.
The dancing by the Indian Surinamese Dutch lady managing the building brought real Bollywood atmosphere.
Then, guitar music and singing by John Stewart from the Netherlands Antilles.
Then, the finale by Najam Murad Khan again.
The night was a good example how people from many different cultures can positively influence one another.