skating in front of the Rjiks Museum
Social status of ice skating
In the Netherlands, ice skating was considered proper for all classes of people to participate in, as shown in many pictures by the Old Masters. James II of England came to the Netherlands in exile, and he fell for the sport. *Wikipedia.
I heard on Public Radio International's program The World that the Netherlands have fallen into "skating fever." This winter is the coldest the country has seen since '97 and the canals, ponds, and lakes have nearly frozen solid and the ice is notably smooth. Most people own their skating equipment even though the opportunity to do so is far and few between. One woman interviewed painted the most beautiful picture of everyone being let out of work early to gather, make bon fires, bring food, sing, and whistle (impeccably i might add). She claimed "it's so Dutch"--to gather as a community, to find a reason to all come out and enjoy it together.
it's true. my experience tells me that it is so Dutch. everyone was so friendly and kind, stopping without your asking just to see if you need directions or are able to find what you would like to do.
i heart it.