in People's Republic of China, The Netherlands

Dutch day at the Shanghai World expo

A few weeks ago I was asked by the Dutch ministry of Foreign affairs to help with a special project. During the time it was a big secret that during the Dutch National day at the World Expo in Shanghai (18 May), the crown prince of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander would visit with his wife, Maxima Zorreguieta. A very exciting thought to help out with a royal event like this! I can’t really disclose what I did, but as complimentary gratitude, I received tickets for the event. The day started with a reception at the Expo site and ended with a special show of the “Netherlands Dance Theatre II” in the shanghai theatre.

We visited the expo for the first time. At around 3pm, we arrived at the dutch pavilion. The Dutch pavilion has an open architecture – you can walk through. (So one of the few without lines on the expo) and instead of a hall, allows people to walk by. (Hence the name Happy street) It shows typical Dutch artifacts like the process of making cheese, ice skates, Miffy, but also modern things like Armin van Buuren (dutch DJ) and our princes Maxima. They also put stone sheep everywhere which proved to be useful as seats as well.

For the day, the whole area was closed down to the selected people that had an invitation. It felt like the entire dutch community from Shanghai was present. Also some VIP’s including the earlier mentioned Dutch royalties, but Suna and I also ran into Dutch rapper Ali B. Funny to meet him here.

The catering was superb. from Champagne to special dutch kroketten that included Beijing duck filling and Chinese shrimp. I still prefer the classic dutch croquette’s. After the reception at the expo, there was a show by the Netherlands dance theater in the Shanghai Theater. The contemporary dance was interesting to watch. There were expressive scene’s with two intermissions. The royal members were welcomed with a big applause. I wonder how this royal appreciation was received by the Chinese. It was a special day which I won’t forget soon!