First Ever ‘Dutch Week’ – City Icons to Light Up in Orange
Dutch culture and language celebrated nationwide
Dutch Week starts off in Foxton: Saturday 24 April
Dutch community organisations, businesses and party-goers will spread a hue of orange and a celebration of ‘all things Dutch’ across the country – from 24 April to 2 May.
A festive launch
The first ever Dutch Week will be officially launched by Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities, together with Ambassador Mira Woldberg on Saturday 24 April, in Foxton.
“We have the Oranjehof museum here that tells the story of the Dutch immigrants in New Zealand, right next to a 30m high icon of Dutchness – flour-grinding windmill De Molen,” says Arjan van der Boon, Co-Chair of the Oranjehof museum. “So this is the right place to kick off our nationwide festivities. Things don’t get much more Dutch than that…”
A striking Art Mural
The launch of Dutch Week in Foxton will be symbolised through the ‘unveiling’ of a spectacular, colourful 50m Art Mural – designed by Amsterdam artist Jan van der Ploeg. Other typical Dutch delights that will add to the festivities on the day include an ‘Ice Skating’ rink, the cheerful tunes of the historic 1880 street organ De Lieve Stem, traditional Dutch games, a kite or vlieger workshop – and of course tours of De Molen which will have its blades spinning in the wind.
“To start off Dutch Week, the Minister and the Ambassador will jointly reveal the community names who supported our new Art Mural,” says Van der Boon. “It has a striking design that incorporates Dutch and Māori colours, as well as Kiwi black. The wave elements point to the local Awa and the river landscape loved by Māori and Dutch alike, in the direction of the Tasman Sea – behind the sand dunes, only a few kilometres away.
“De Molen was opened in 2000, and will turn 21 this year. So the Mural is a kind of birthday gift to De Molen. But we mostly timed it to celebrate the nation’s first ever Dutch Week. Out here in Foxton, where the official launch of Dutch Week will be very, very Nederlands!”
Another major part of the day, is the opening of a brightly coloured art exhibition. The contribution to the New Zealand art scene by Leon van den Eijkel will be celebrated in the Māpuna - Kabinet gallery inside Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom. ‘Colourful Nation – Kleur Bekennen’ is a retrospective that includes some major works from the collection of Te Papa. The art exhibition will be opened by Dutch born MP Marja Lubeck.
The Big Dutch Day Out: Saturday 24 April, 2021
Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom / Te Awahou Riverside Cultural Park
92 Main Street, Foxton. Free event.
For more information on events throughout the country, visit www.DutchNZ.nz