Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

'Boomerang kids'

A social reportin the Netherlands covers the growing number of young people who return to live with their parents after leaving home. In the 1990s, just 15 percent of young adults returned to the nest. Between 2000 and 2007, a whopping one in five young women moved back in with their parents. Which is pretty normal in Turkey, where most of the young women move in with their parents after completing their studies.

In this Dutch report it says that compared to other European countries, the Dutch welfare state makes it relatively easy to build up a life as an independent young person in the Netherlands. Why then, it asks, do these 'boomerang children' return home?
A sociologist points out that many come back home after the break-up of a relationship. The lack of affordable housing in many big cities compounds the problem. It is also said that many young people move to a different part of the country when they leave home and that homesickness can play a part in deciding to return to their roots.
However maybe 22-year-old Lisanne can fill us in on the real reason. "Before I came home, I told my mother: 'I'll do my own washing and ironing, you don't need to bother with it.' But, she still does it all - washing, cooking, cleaning. It's just like a hotel," she admits. And that's a little different than in countries such as Turkey and Italy where the baby/child is still King or Queen!

Day Opening - July 20

A mountain called Zimba, Austria

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The source of integration difficulties

The last couple of years The Netherlands has turned from a tolerant country into a country full of anti-immigrant sentiments. This reaches beyond the actual immigrants, it also affects second generation youngsters, in particular the groups of Turks and Moroccans living in Holland for the greatest part of their lives. Most of the anti-immigrant sentiments are fed by fear, spread by the rightwing political movement and by the media, which found a scapegoat to put the blame on for economic, religious and cultural crises. We can conclude that it's not even against immigrants but against the group of muslims in Holland. The socalled integration problem has rooted somewhere down the 60s of the last century.
In the decade following the end of the Second World War The Netherlands has known a period in which lots of inhabitants moved to other places in the world, like the US, Canada and Australia. Halfway down the 50s the industrial activities in Holland increased enormously, and a shortage of labor force arose. At first the Dutch looked at countries like Italy and Spain to get laborers. The next group, at the beginning of the 60s were the Turks and Moroccans. The initial thought was to have them in Holland for only a couple of years before they would return to their country of origin. With this in mind, no effort was but by either the Dutch government or the immigrants ("guest laborers") to integrate and have them take an active role in Dutch society. The Dutch didn't have programs to teach the language and habits of the country, the immigrants did their jobs and spent their free time together with fellow immigrants and prefered to live close to eachother instead of mingling with the original Dutch inhabitants.
After a while Turkish and Moroccan families were reunited in Holland and started a new life for them and for their children. The government slowly started to acknowlegde the permanent stay of their guest laborers, who meant a lot for the wellfare, but it seemed too late to launch integration programs. The cultural differences were quite large. Though it seemed easier to treat all groups equally, the Dutch started to emphasise the differences, which encouraged the majority of the immigrants to feel shut out of society. Together with this phenomenon, the immigrants themselves held on to their values and habits which they took with them 20 or more years before, when they arrived in Holland. Though in Morocco and Turkey time went on and everything got more modern, the immigrants stuck to their old patterns.
From 2001 things got worse. The second generation (children of the original immigrants) got adolescents or adults. They were brought up by parents that were attached to ancient values, and on the other hand they had to survive in a community with a completely different set of values. Together with the more grim attitude in the Dutch society some of them chose to put their backs to society and, encouraged by fundamentalist imams they became together with rightwing groups the symbol of polarisation.
I expect this problem to persist for a long time. It is too late now to reach the group of people that has developed an aversion for Dutch society, but keeps living in it, by active (compulsory) integration programs. On the other hand, the general opinion is to act repressive ("all criminal muslims should be thrown out of the country"; "burqas should be forbidden"), which works counterproductive. A gentle way of acting seems to be the best way, but it needs understanding and effort from both sides...
It is time to let go of prejudices and put our hands together.
Let actions speak louder than words, but start whispering first.

Day Opening - July 18

Bodrum Castle, Turkey

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dutch Twitter criminal convicted

The first person in the Netherlands to be convicted of Twitter crime has been sentenced to 100 hours’ community service. After the World Cup semi-final against Uruguay, the 18-year-old in question sent out an appeal on Twitter for people to head en masse for a square in The Hague which has become notorious for post-football match rioting. “Gas the plainclothes police,” he tweeted.

“In the context of earlier disturbances, this was an invitation to come and riot on the square,” the judge concluded. However, it seems the public prosecutor still has to get used to dealing with crime in the social networking age. The letters “RT, RT, RT” in one of the messages was intended to represent the sound of gunshots, the prosecutor claimed. Until someone pointed out it’s the abbreviation for “retweet”.
Maybe the district attorney's has to go social media...

Day Opening - July 17

Girl - Poland

Friday, July 16, 2010

Who came first: chicken or egg?

‘It had long been suspected that the egg came first but now we have the scientific proof that shows that in fact the chicken came first,’ said Dr Colin Freeman, from Sheffield University, who worked with counterparts at Warwick University. What do they mean with 'who came first'...
More herrreeee

Day Opening - July 16

Brand new.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Insanity in the Netherlands

The Muslim Orthodox foundation Al Rayaan (watch the video in English) in the city of Nijmegen the Netherlands gets subsidy for the promotion of ' emancipation and integration' whereas this Moslem group itself supports a strict separation between men and women; men and women who are not direct relatives of each other, should avoid contact with each other. Also the foundation pleads for polygamy. Now, they made again headlines because anti-Semitic cartoons on their web site and obscure texts. In spite of the fact that the orthodox interpretation of the Muslim faith of Al Rayaan is not in line with the progressive objectives of the municipality of Nijmegen, it will not withdraw its yearly subsidy - 3,500 euro per year. Now another story; the evangelical Christian farmer who has JEZUS REDT (Jesus saves) painted in huge white letters on the side of his roof is planning to take his case to the European Court. Why? The latest twist in his court battle to save his religious message to the world (or at least to local motorists) follows a ruling from the Council of State. The highest court in the Netherlands has decided that the local council is within its rights to fine Mr Van Ooijen 15,000 euros if he does not remove the message (it can insult Muslims). The farmer is, however, standing firm: "We'll carry on the fight," he assures, "and go on to the European Court." You can ask yourself how ‘loonely’ or ‘lunatic’ the Left wing parties are in the Netherlands: you preach Hate and you get a warning and get incentives, you preach nothing but only a pacifistic message and you get fined...

Don't call a Greek a Turk...

A 77-year born Greek living in Sweden gets € 200,000 euro because a Swedish dairy company used his picture recommending ‘Turkish yoghourt’ on the Swedish market. Minas Karatzoglis decorated for nine years the packing of the Turkish yoghourt of a dairy company from the Swedish Jönköping. The Greek discovered this last spring, already it has not been confessed how. Karatzoglis was according to the director of Lindahls Mejeri (dairy) furiously that he was represented as a Turk and asked for almost 5 millions of euro in ‘damages’. Both parties settled before for a lawsuit was started. Now the dairy company wants recover damage of the company which whom it got the copy rights to use the photograph of the ' Turkish man'. I understand that you want to get paid when they use your portrait, but is this simple a way for the man to get some money or is he really upset being used as a Turk…that sounds a little bit too much for me…

Day Opening - July 15

Cat on your head!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day Opening - July 14

Bastille Day; National Holiday in France. 14th of July.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Genocide in Sudan according ICC

The International Criminal Court added genocide Monday to the list of charges against Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir (big friend of Turkish PM Erdogan and Turkish President GUL), already wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

"There are reasonable grounds to believe that (Omar al-Beshir) acted with specific intent to destroy in part the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups," said a new warrant issued Monday, listing three genocide charges.
The court in March last year issued a warrant for Beshir's arrest on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, its first ever for a sitting head of state.
It did not include three genocide charges on that warrant as requested by prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who appealed its decision.
In February, the ICC's appeals chamber ordered judges to rethink their decision to omit genocide from the warrant, saying they had made an "error in law" by setting the burden of proof too high.
In Today's decision, the court said there were reasonable grounds to believe that villages and towns targeted by government forces "were selected on the basis of their ethnic composition".
"Towns and villages inhabited by other tribes, as well as rebel locations, were bypassed in order to attack towns and villages known to be inhabited by civilians belonging to the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups."
The court also said there were reasonable grounds to believe that "acts of rape, torture and forcible displacement were committed against members of the targeted ethnic groups."
There was evidence that government forces contaminated the wells and water pumps of villages inhabited by these groups, who were also subject to forcible transfer, in furtherance of the genocidal policy."
"One of the reasonable conclusions that can be drawn is that ... the conditions of life inflicted on the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa groups were calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a part of those ethnic groups."
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accuses Beshir of personally instructing his forces to annihilate the three Darfur ethnic groups.
The prosecutor says 2.7 million people have been uprooted from their homes, of whom 100,000 died of causes related to their displacement, such as starvation.
The United Nations says up to 300,000 people have died since conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003, when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against the Arab-dominated regime for a greater share of resources and power.

Day Opening - July 12

A view over Barcelona

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Some very good reasons why the Dutch beat today Spain at the World Cup 2010

Sixteen million Dutch people think they know how the Orange team will beat Spain today. Here are a few tips to help national coach Bert van Marwijk in these hectic times.

1. The Swiss method

The Swiss showed us how to beat Spain in the first group match. A combination of massive defence, time wasting and (forcing) a bit of luck resulted in a 1-0 victory. Days after the defeat AD reported: “Spain still doesn’t know how to deal with this kind of demolition football. Midfielder Andrés Iniesta gave plenty of clever passes, but the front line lacked efficiency, finesse and a bit of luck.'

2. Disrupt the midfield

His name has already fallen: Andrés Iniesta. The boss of La Furiá Roja or the red fury, as the Spanish team is known. He is difficult to get away from the ball and is superior in confined space. In the midfield, he constantly seeks combinations with his compadres Xavi, Busquets and Xabi Alonso: this quartet quickly makes you colour-blind. They storm towards the penalty area and put one of their team mates in a position to score with brilliant passes. If you disrupt the midfield, Spain is lost. A nice job for demolition firm Van Bommel & De Jong.

3. Knock out top scorer Villa

Spain depends heavily on top scorer David Villa. He has scored five of the seven Spanish World Cup goals. So knock him out and Spain is left without a striker. And if you can’t score, you can’t win. You don’t need to be called Johan Cruijff to know that.

4. Wes we can!

One the better tips comes from Cruiff, who pointed Spain out as favourite before the competition. Directly after the match against Germany, he said Spain plays like Barcelona: “lots of ball possession, depth in the game and quick to put the pressure on after losing the ball.” To beat Barcelona you have to play like Inter Milan. That became clear in this year’s Champions League. And who is the driving force behind Inter? That is right: our Wesley Sneijder! After all, he has already said he is not afraid of Spain. “We have to make sure we don’t lose the ball in midfield and show some nerve when we have ball possession.”

Wes we can!!

5. Third time lucky

This is the third time the Orange team has made it to the final. The Dutch lost both the other finals - West Germany in 1974 and Argentina in 1978. Let’s hope it’s third time lucky! By the way, Spain has never been world champion. It has never even made it to the final.

6. Advantage of playing at home

In addition the Netherlands lost both finals against the host country. A huge disadvantage. But this time round that is not the case. And more South Africans have Dutch roots than Spanish roots. So the Dutch have the advantage.

7. The Spanish anthem

As soon as the national anthems have played, the Netherlands will be 1-0 ahead. Because as our boys sing the Wilhelmus (the Dutch national anthem) out loud, the Spanish remain silent. The Spanish anthem does not have any words. La Marca Real (the royal march) comes from the 18th century and is Europe’s oldest anthem. The Wilhelmus became the Dutch anthem in 1932. Much younger. And he who has youth, takes the cup!

8. German encouragement

The Germans are poor losers. We know that and we are prepared to forgive them for it. But to say Spain will win the cup is going too far. Straight after Germany’s defeat on Wednesday, coach Joachim Löw said, “Spain will be World Champion.” He says Spain has been the world’s best team for two to three years now. So here is a German who doesn’t think the Netherlands has got a chance. As if we needed more encouragement?

9. The balance bracelets

They have been talked about a lot and shouldn’t be underestimated. The Orange team’s spiritual weapon. The idea came from Wesley Sneijder, who meanwhile has become better known as the Little General. A bracelet which symbolises the deep bond the Dutch team feels. Everyone is wearing one. Dirk Kuijt typifies the value of the amulet, “Even if it only helps 0.1 percent” . Whereas Spain has only got one player who wears a headband - Sergio Ramos.

10. Revenge of 1983

Remember 1983? When Spain knocked the Netherlands out of the race for a place in the European Cup of 1984. After the Netherlands had won against Malta 5-0 in December, there was just one more match in the pool. Four days later, Spain played Malta in Seville. The Spanish needed an 11-goal victory to go through. They won 12-1. Rumour still has it that the game was “fixed”, although Malta quite often lost badly in those days. Nevertheless, we will have revenge!

11. Our own power

The best argument for a historic victory on Sunday is of course: our own power! The Dutch team has been unbeaten in all six matches of the World Cup so far. We have an experienced team, with a long list of successes; the most praised club footballer of the season, Wesley Sneijder, as well as the most spectacular player, Arjen Robben; and a coach that used to be world champion. (World Champion at klaverjassen, a Dutch card game that is, but all the same...)
12. The Orange Lion
The Lion always win from a lost Don Quichotte...more explanation needed?
13. Copycats
The Dutch Ajax School against the Dutch Barcelona school. The originates always win from their copycats.
And we play in Johannesburg, that's named after me..))!

Paul the octopus made the right choice