Radio interview with Jos Baijens and the real Dutch spirit
While leaving Amsterdam behind me, driving, I was listening to Radio 1. They were interviewing Jos Baijens, high-school teacher in Eindhoven, whose popularity recently increased for wearing a muslim scarf in public, as a protest for a proposal by Geert Wilders, which would like to introduce a 1000€/year tax for women who wish to wear such a scarf for religious reasons in public. Baijens was so contrary to such a proposal, that he decided to wear the scarf in the same way muslim women wear it, in public.
Besides agreeing or not with the proposal or with the protest, I was impressed when the presenter asked Jos what his children had to say when they saw him “scarfed” like a woman. Being Italian, I expected the children to say whether they agreed or not with his father. No. They said (roughly translated) “Dad, if you think it’s important to do so to express your opinion, you should do it”. They didn’t say “Dad, you could be a Wal-Creature” or whatever; instead they expressed all the Dutch tolerance by simply saying that he could do as wished. No support, or lack of support of his idea. They simply don’t care, do they? They simply mind their business. It’s all very Dutch, you know.