Opinion: Holidays

POSTED: 07/4/11 12:05 PM

Should we stick to the Christian calendar for our national holidays and throw in a few Caribbean odd balls? Or should we embrace the multicultural society that the Netherlands has just dropped like a hot potato and move with the times?

Already now our holiday schedule looks a bit out of whack, or at least a bit inconsequent. We celebrate Christmas, New Year and Easter. We celebrate Ascension Day. But when Pentecost comes around the corner, our French neighbors have time off and we all go to work. What’s that all about? Is this an overlooked holiday? Or is there a particular reason why it is left out of our annual schedule.

Now we are looking at Emancipation Day – that’s time off for civil servants, and companies are left to decide for themselves, so that’s not a real public holiday. We have St. Maarten Day on November 11, and we have Kingdom Day on December 15. The discussion about October 10 (Autonomy Day?) is underway.

We’re not familiar with all the celebrations in other cultures, but one thing is certain – as public holidays they don’t count in St. Maarten. So bye by Ramadan, Yom Kippur, the Chinese New Year.

Want more: the Fourth of July (for our American friends), Le Quatorze Juillet (for our French neighbors), and Republic Day (in any country of your choosing).

We do celebrate the Queen’s birthday, but we do not celebrate the Dutch Liberation Day on May 5.

Had we been born true Catholics we surely would be able to find a saint to celebrate practically every day of the year. Belgians are good at this, or so we hear. But if we followed that agenda, nobody would be working anymore.

Suggestions for other national holidays? Send them to todaymanagersxm@yahoo.com


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