I’ve mentioned before in this space the fascinating evangelical outliers to the usual crowd of stolidly-secular European on-line newspapers, the Dutch publications Nederlands Dagblad (“Christianly engaged”) and Reformatorisch Dagblad. Damn (- whoops! Sorry . . .): two of them, even, and in a country of only 16 million souls!
At least these papers definitely provide an alternative take on happenings in the public sphere, both national and international. (more…)
OK, let’s talk about the Olympics, then. But not the 2008 Beijing Olympics – rather, the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics! Yes, we pride ourselves here at EuroSavant on our solipsism, but the immediate motive for this nostalgic look 80 years backward is the excellent recent article in the Dutch newspaper Trouw by Haro Hielkema, Amsterdam: Example for the Rest, which is itself largely derived from the book Model voor de toekomst – Amsterdam, Olympische Spelen 1928 by Ruud Paauw and Jaap Visser (which was itself only published a few weeks ago, that is, just before the opening of the Beijing Games – which I bet will not surprise you at all). (more…)
The Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad is somewhat of an outlier in the European media sphere, as it is expressly a Christian newspaper. You can see right there in its logo, written at the top: Christelijk betrokken, or “Engaged in a Christian manner” (“Christianly engaged,” if you like). Surf to the paper’s website on Sunday and you’ll find nothing: that’s the Lord’s day of rest, after all.
The Nederlands Dagblad reports today, as the 2008 Olympic Games open in Beijing, that the Chinese church leader Zhang Mingxuan was recently arrested by the authorities in his hometown in the province of Henan, along with his wife and another associate, and brought to an office of the “security services” in that province’s capital, Zhengzhou. This follows Zhang’s being driven out of his Beijing by the authorities at the beginning of last month, and then out of the city itself two weeks ago.
The Stichting De Ondergrondse Kerk (a Dutch name, of course: “Foundation of the Underground Church”) has issued a call to make these opening days of the Olympic Games days of prayer on behalf of the persecuted Christians in China.
I don’t like to talk about local affairs here except on rare occasions; this is hardly intended to be any sort of “Amsterdam blog.” One of the few things I’ll make an exception for is the “Gay Pride” festival occurring here every first week of August. It is known world-wide, to a considerable extent takes over the city, and features a unique “parade” on the Saturday (today!) that makes its way along the city’s canals (actually, mainly the Prinsengracht), not its streets.
It also enjoys a rather high level of public support. That was perhaps the main point of the article from Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza that I covered here on Tuesday, which noted that, for the first time, a national cabinet minister will be officially present in the parade (namely Ronald Plasterk, of Education, Culture, and Science) as well as an official boat from the police. But it turns out that Gazeta didn’t know the half of it (and probably did not want to know the half of it, in any case): this whole new politician phenomenon has mushroomed so rapidly that not only have plenty other national Dutch lawmakers scrambled to find a place for themselves for today on a Gay Pride boat, but questioning eyebrows are even being raised in the direction of politicians who will not be present. (more…)
Get ready: next week is RNC week! (“Republican National Convention,” in NYC, naturally.) You can be sure that most of the the European publications that I cover here will be taking a look, and, just as on the occasion of the DNC about a month ago, I’ll be passing along to you some of the most interesting coverage and opinions. (As for the official EuroSavant position, I was lucky enough recently to find it summed up neatly elsewhere on the Net: “If I can FAKE it here . . . “ – see August 26.)