On the way to the office this morning, radio Nederland 2 played "New York New York." The Dutch is proud to tell the history of Captain Henry Hudson who found a place in 1609 that became New York now. It means exactly 400 years ago. New York is used to be called New Amsterdam.

Today, 8 September, the commemoration takes place in New York. The Empire State Building is decorated orange (the Dutch royal colour) and people can join an orange bike tour tracing the Dutch history in New York. The royal couple, Willem Alexander and Maxima will be the host.

Most of the time I think what a history this small country has. Besides New York, Singapore is also a former colony of the Netherlands before it handed over to the British. And now look at these places, both Singapore and New York become two important trade hubs in two continents. I believe there are more places that used to belong to the Netherlands.

The glory has long become the past, but I am still curious about the adventures drive of the Dutch. It is genetic, probably. Crossing the seas, pioneering new foundlands. Almost in every corner of the world they have printed history, no matter how insignificant they are. Probably that is why I never felt that I live in such a small country due to global exposures of the Netherlands. I have to keep reminding myself of what my father used to remind me that the Netherlands is not bigger than the West Java. It is difficult sometimes to comprehend that such a small country has such a tremendous history.
(Pictures are courtesy of


Popular posts from this blog