in People's Republic of China, The Netherlands

Celebration of Dutch Queen’s day in Shanghai 2010

Whilst Shanghai is upside down due to the opening of the Expo with many world leaders flying in, the dutch in Shanghai held a separate party: ‘Queen’s Day’ a Dutch public holiday celebrating the birthday of the Queen of the Netherlands and supposed to be a day of national unity and “togetherness”. To celebrate, Suna and I visited the Millennium hotel. The honorary guest at the reception was Jan Peter Balkenende, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Balkenende is visiting to open the Dutch pavilion at the world expo tomorrow, we talked briefly and he is a very friendly patient man. Similar to when I met Maxime Verhagen (demissionair minister of foreign affairs), I noticed politicians are much relaxed meeting people abroad. Suna wondered whether something like this would be possible in any other country. In Korea for example, people wouldn’t be able to even ask these kind of things. Happy Dutch Queensday everybody!