Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday 9

July 4 2009

Don't read when you're easily offended.

1. What is your favorite 4th of July memory? (If you aren't in the U.S., then use your own national holiday.)

We don't have just one national holiday, we have more.

One of my favorite memories is when I was about 7 or 9 and won the rolerskate contest.
We were there with my gram, her sister and my father.
Our neigbourboy was skating in a group with older boys. I admired him to bits.
That he admired me for winning was something completely new for me.
It placed admiring someone in a whole new light, because winning was for me far more important for overcoming the hesitation to show what I could do, than being better than someone else.
I didn't like the fact that some people were nice to me just because I'd won one of the many contests.
I was just the same person, and I thought it dishonest or something like that that people talked suddenly about me as the girl who won rolerskating whereas 5 minutes before I was just the pale, thin girl with the glasses.

We also had contests in streetdrawing. and some other typical old-dutch sports and contests.

They were all held in parks and on the streets.

People were happy with nothing.

2. Do you consider yourself patriotic?

We don't consider ourselves patriotic here.
Patriotism is considered here the pride in one's country, thinking it's the best in the world.
Even more, patriotism hasn't a favorable feeling to it, because it's linked with countries interfering in other countries, going to war, and pride which make people feel they are a better breed than others. (looking down on other countries).

We do have a strong sense of belonging to our country. But it's not pride.
We embrace the way we make a true home for our family, the typical dutch meals, the history, the hospitality, the royal family, our freedom of speech, the discussions, (to mention just a few elements), but it's not a feeling that reaches outside, it doesn't need a symbol. It's nothing to show off.
Most people just know the first verse of the national anthem.
We don't belong to The Netherlands, we àre Dutch.
And because it's in us, no one can threaten to take it away from us. We can't lose it.
Maybe that's why we're willing to learn languages and we feel we have to speak english when we're in England and french when we're in France.
We don't need pride in our country, because we know where part of it. That's enough.

So no, we don't feel patriotic and I certainly don't.
I think we all live on a different part of Mother Earth as guests.
There's no need to feel better than others.

We're a country of traders, of salespeople.
It reflects in the character of the way we deal with our feelings towards our own country and other countries.
When you really want to respect other people, you have to understand them and don't feel high on a pedestal.

3. Do you like fireworks?

Yes, I do.
But when I was younger I liked it far more.

4. What are your plans for this weekend?

Doing the laundry, cleaning the house, try to feel a bit better because the temperature goes down, keep the peace between the people here, try to help them deal with their emotions.

5. Are you optimistic about the future?

Not about the political future, when you mean that.

I think our government wants to adjust far too much to what's dictated by some large countries in the world. The whole terrorist issue is blown to proportion so huge, that normal people are considered a threat.

We had to deal with terrorism in the past often enough when we had idealistic movements fighting to gain control. A train hijacked, schoolchildren kept hostage. We dealt with it and we went on living.

Now it's like we have to live the imagination and fears of others.
The way everything about people is controlled and registered is sick.
Why save 1,5 years of my mails, for instance?
Why take notes of everything a person does and save it for so many years?
When a child does something wrong when it's 4, it can still be seen when he's 54.
I have nothing to hide, but I don't feel free anymore.

Another thing is how political issues are dealt with.
The rise of the right wing politicians is frightening. And I certainly don't like the way some american journalists and others, like Dr. Phil, deal with it without true knowledge.
We have dealt with right wing rising in the past and we learned our lesson. The consequence of not listening to the warning signs was the murdering of Jews and WW2.
It was better that foreign interference didn't reinforce people who are too stupid for self reflection, like Wilders.

Well, that's one of the main reasons we want to leave the country.

6. Do you think everyone should serve in the military?

No, not at all.
I think it's a disgrace young people are used for political games and interference in countries.
Most wars and socalled peace missions have no use at all, and only raise more aggression and a set back in the economical climate and standard of life for normal people.

We have by constitution only a defensive army.
Still we're pulled in missions which are in fact not constitutional, because we're otherwise considered enemies of the USA.

Our soldiers die for a cause of another country almost no one in our country backs up.

I don't spread my religious beliefs around, but I do strongly believe the commandment that says that we shouldn't kill other people. Sending young people into war means a lack of respect for the lives of those young people.
I consider all my children unique individuals that are trusted to me. The trust given to me is that I'll give my best to make them become honorable people who respect other living creatures.
When I teach them they shouldn't hit another person when they're 4, and they shouldn't bully another child when they're 8, I can't teach them they're a hero when they shoot someone else.

My dad was in the Royal Air Force of England during WW2 to free our country from German occupation, after he worked for the resistance.
He helped pilots to find their way home, Jews to escape from being transported to the concentration camps. He worked as a flying engineer.
I've seen what war did to him and his army chaplain. And I see what war does with young people now.
I would prevent with my own life my children serving in the military to go to war in another country.
I don't give birth to have my children kill others.

7. Would you support a constitutional ban on flag burning?

Well, I'm not sure what's considered a constitutional ban.
And I think the question about flag burning is strange.

We don't consider our flag holy or so.
OK, it's a symbol of our country.
But we don't sing for the flag or salute or put it on school and campus grounds.

I don't think flags should be burned.

8. What end of the political spectrum are you?

We have a completely different political system.
A multi party system.
We can chose the people in our parliament not only by party but also by person.
Before the elections parties publicise a program, a system of plans they want to realise.
Voting is the result of reading those programs and chosing the one that reflects our ideas best.
It's much more democratic than a two party system in which people can only vote for the voters. (And much cheaper too.)

9. Where do you get your news?

From reliable sources in the region, by own research, fron journalist friends, from other sources like the national news agency. And from internet.
I like the news verified before it's published.

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  1. Interesting to read your view on patriotism. I'd hate to see a world without pride. Happy Saturday.

  2. I hope things are going better for you. I wish you could go on that vacation. I just came back and think I need another one.
    Thanks for visiting Grampys Place and have a good weekend.

  3. I really enjoyed reading your views. Have a wonderful weekend :)

  4. We, in the US, have a lot to learn from other countries. Thanks for sharing.

  5. It was really interesting to read all of your answers, as you are from a completely different culture. Thanks for sharing!


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