Something is missing on Campus. The last couple of years this was the time for huge tents to decorate the entrance of the university. Barricades indicating where long lines of people are waiting to enter the festival terrain. And then even longer lines with people buying consumption coins. At the moment, the only visitors are people walking their dogs and ducks freely roaming between the ponds.
While I was looking forward to celebrating my last King’s Day in the Netherlands this year, the world is facing greater challenges right now. Naturally, all upcoming events are cancelled. Still, the Dutch people became creative and changed Koningsdag to Woningsdag. So, while I was missing out on my last King’s Day, I got to celebrate the very first Apartment/Stay at home Day. And as tradition requires, I had an orange tompouce and watched DJ set after DJ set. On TV then. It becomes clear that the Netherlands is a real EDM music hotbed. Martin Garrix even got to play his biggest hits high up on a building above the streets of an otherwise empty Amsterdam.
The real star of the day could not be missed either. The king himself. It is his birthday after all. After his first King’s Day speech on live television, people were eager to discuss the royal family’s outfits. The king did not wear a tie anymore and the youngest daughter dares to wear one of Amalia’s previous dresses. Apparently, a shocking reinvention of the Dutch monarchy. This is followed by the royal highlights of the previous King’s Days.
I understand that all of this seems highly insignificant in times of a global pandemic. Still, I have not been this excited to turn on the TV in the morning for weeks. While everyone stayed at home on the couch or on the balcony, people still managed to put together an entertaining program. I was impressed. Without a doubt, reporting the latest developments of the virus outbreak is very important. Yet, it was a welcome change that the world was not evolving around face masks, Trump’s latest mishaps or mortality rates for once. I guess it was not the party tents I am missing on Campus. Maybe it is way more the liveliness and carelessness events like King’s Day are usually bringing to the people.