For the first time, the Holland Festival in Long Beach and the annual Kingsday Celebration combined forces and got together in Gemmrig Park for a great Indo/orange celebration. Indo International was there.
By Vivian Boon // photos: Ashley de Groot
The motor behind the festivities. Popped up everywhere all day. Helping out with tents that were not set up, handing out chocolates, giving away prizes in a quiz and taking selfies with friends. What he was looking forward to most? ‘Monday’, he laughs. ‘This festival has been around for 33 years, it’s all about friends and families, different generations coming together. When you see all the smiling faces, that makes it all worthwhile.’
Can’t do Kingsday without orange. And if you didn’t have any orange to wear, there was plenty of Dutch and Indo stuff to get a hold of at the festival.
No food without plenty of patience. The wait for satay was at least an hour. But the reward was worth it. Herring, poffertjes, oliebollen, appelflappen and kroketten – people couldn’t get enough.
Dirk Janssen, spoke at the opening of the festival. ‘When I came to Southern California I did not know that there was such a large Indo community here. I am from The Hague in the Netherlands where there are a great many Indos and they make me feel at home here. The history of this community is very interesting. The story of how they ended up here is not only a positive history – many people did not feel welcome in The Netherlands and then moved to the USA. That is quite a journey and it makes their story unique. It is wonderful to see how tight this community is.’
No Poco Poco?
We figured: we’re in the USA, there’s country music and there are Indos. so let’s get ready to poco poco. People did hit the dancefloor, but no poco poco! Next time we will step away from our booth and take the lead, if we can muster up the courage.
When hundreds of Indos get together, there’s a lot of ngobrol. Families drove out to meet up today, bringing their folding chairs to sit, eat and chat. We saw a lot of old friends meet up, new friends being made.
First, second, third, fourth… all generations could be found at the festival today. Making this day not only about bringing the Indo community together, but also about passing on traditions to the next generations.