Editorial: St. Maarten’s National anthem

POSTED: 10/10/11 11:49 AM

The decision to organize a national anthem competition comes a bit late in the day and it also raises several questions. We’re not talking about the $10,000 that is apparently available for the composer of the lyrics and the music. In the big scheme of things, that’s a small price to pay for something real patriots will still be humming a hundred years from now.
The question we have is about the language the government has chosen: English instead of Dutch.
Do not misunderstand us; we think that from a practical point of view this is the only reasonable choice available.
But still, in a country where – until now – all legislation and all official documents are written in Dutch an English-language national anthem seems to be at least remarkable.
On the other hand, we suspect that there are plenty of residents who will have trouble reading, let alone understanding a line like this: Regeling van de minister van Algemene Zaken van 26 september 2011, nr. 1815/2011, houdende regels inzake de kosten voor jaarlijkse abonnementen en voor afzonderlijke nummers van de Landscourant van Sint Maarten en de kosten voor bekendmakingen in de Landscourant.
That’s the kind of stuff the government makes available on its web site. To say the least, this must increase the thirst for an English-language national anthem tremendously – and we’re all for it.

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