In Dutch there is a saying: doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg. Which means: act normal, then you’ll be crazy enough. It’s a mind fuck, excusez moi pour ma francais. In the Netherlands we have this tendency not to stand out, the culture doesn’t promote weirdness or excesses.
The thing is, we got to be a successful country by working hard. We have this culture, coming from Christianity and Calvijn in particular, that we are predestined and therefor we are never special. Just predestined. This encouraged the Dutch people to not go big on emotions, not show our successes and to live a sober life and work hard.
Growing up in this culture, made me a child of this religion, even though my parents don’t believe in that God. I believe in working hard, sure, and until last year I had trouble expressing my emotions on the moment they occur. And even though I worked hard, I didn’t stand out.
That began to itch. I am different than the rest. I have my own stories. I make my own decisions.
The funny thing is, our country has come to embrace more and more. We are one of few countries that allow the usage of soft drugs. We are one of the first countries to support and encourage gay marriage. Without working on it deliberately (or have we?), we have become a country of different views. We have become a multicultural country. We have become a country where working hard isn’t the only thing that makes the clock tick.
The phrase should really be: act crazy, then you’ll be normal enough. Only when we embrace the crazy, the different views, the new influences are we able to live together in peace. And to use the inspiration for our own enrichment. We combine colors that make this beautiful new painting of acceptance, inspiration and creativity.