Sunday, 15 June 2008

roots in the park

When I got up this morning the sun was shining. I had a laundry crisis so I threw lots of clothes into the washing machine. When I hung it out to dry it started raining…

After lunch the rain had stopped and I went to Oosterpark to have a look at the Open Air Roots Festival. All around the perimeter of the park were market stalls, varying from exotic food and drink to NGOs. At 13:00 the crowd wasn't that big yet.

market stalls

On the dance stage was a belly dancer who gave a demonstration. After her demo, she got lots of kids on stage and taught them how to belly dance. The kids were having a great time. The fathers too.

belly dancer

The UNICEF market stall had a group of five girls dessed as clowns. If you paid €5 you could have a photo made with all of them hugging you.

UNICEF clowns

On the playing field was a small brassband. They had brought a lot of drums and sticks and let children play along with them. The noise was mighty!


At the "one man can make a difference" stand the girls all had a kiss painted on their cheeks.

give us a kiss, darling

This West-African kora player also gives Djembé lessons. I took a bunch of photos of this guy and with every shot his smile got bigger and bigger.

kora player

At the Urban Groove stage they had the musical finalists of the StadsSpelen 2007, a competition between the various parts of Amsterdam. The winner was an Arfro-Caribean Samba band called Kalentura. Their music was very exiting and nearly the whole crowd was dancing to it.

kalentura sax player

Miss Jo wondered if there would be anything from her roots at the festival and I can answer that in the affirmative: The Cotton Club, an Amsterdam Lindy Hop dance group. Lindy Hop was a popular dance style in the 1920s and 30s. They not just perform but give lessons as well. Miss Jo can apply for a free trial lesson on their website. Oh, and at the end of June there's an invasion of Lindy Hop dancers in Amsterdam.

lindy hop

As it was getting later more people started to appear. The weather had improved a lot; the sun was shining and it was getting warm. The sound stage of the playing field was home to several bands which were crowd pullers.

the sounds stage

Even away from the stage you had a good view of what was going on by looking at the big screen.

big screen

Some of the things for sale at the market stalls were a bit puzzling. There was this Surinamese stall which was either owned by Uncle Henk or was selling him. I didn't stop to find out, only to make a photo.

uncle Henk for sale?

At the poffertjes stand there was no doubt about what they were selling. You could smell the butter and sugar from tens of meters away. If you have a 'poffertjes' pan at home you can also try to make the Japanese dish takoyaki which is made in a similar pan. Please don't put any sugar or butter on the takoyaki.


At around 17:30 I left the park and went to the Ferrara on Beukenplein for a pizza.


Juf Jo said...

It was very popular, but mostly in the backstreets of American cities.
A decent Dutch housewife like me wouldn't have much to do with those crazy dances.
Not a dance you would see much in this lovely little country back then.
Either way, the dance has little to do with my roots, not very Dutch ;)

The poffertjes... now they are very very very connected to my roots :)

Kees said...

@JUf Jo: according to the wikipedia article on Lindy Hop: "Lindy Hop moved off-shore in the 1930s and 40s, again in films and news reels, but also with American troops stationed overseas, particularly in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and other allied nations. Despite their banned status in countries such as Germany, Lindy Hop and jazz were also popular in other European countries during this period."

Nicole said...

Looks like a really nice afternoon in the park. The belly dancer photo is beautiful.

Vincent said...

Hele mooie foto's. De buikdanseres is erg mooi en de Lindyhoppersfoto vind ik ook erg gaaf. Foto's van dansers of muzikanten vind ik sowieso meestal wel erg leuk om te zien.

En de poffertjes.... hmmmmm. Heb ik hier nog niet gevonden. Misschien moet ik eens een pan zien te scoren. Of beter nog: Een kraam hehe.

Juf Jo said...

Yes up to WW2 it was known but not very popular over here.
The music types were populair among small groups, it was usually called Swing.
It was never really banned though, even in Germany the music they hated (jazz, swing, etc) was very popular, even used in propaganda movies and played for the troops.
The nazis tried to control it by making rules for music, but they failed miserably as the music had become much too popular.
If the kids here danced anything like the Lindyhop, it was the Jitterbug.
A slightly more timid version of the lindyhop.

Either way, a housewife my age wouldnt be caught dead dancing it, except perhaps when talked into it by a RAF flyboy during the liberation ;)