The Top 5 Society Stories of the Year
How the Struggle Against Water Shaped Dutch Identity
© Wikimedia Commons
The St Elisabeth Flood, which washed over Zuid-Holland six hundred years ago, is one of the most severe inundations ever to affect the Netherlands. In the lively memory culture surrounding that fateful event national pride and a sense of vulnerability go hand in hand. The cultural depiction of later flood disasters also played with those conflicting emotions. A story of water wolves, floating cradles, paternal monarchs and a finger in the dyke.
Visibility Still Maters. Trans Rights in the Low Countries
© Trans Amsterdam
Thanks to progressive laws and persistent activists, the Netherlands and Belgium lead the way in terms of granting equal rights to transgender citizens in Europe. Such attitudes towards trans welfare and equality did not develop overnight. Even in the Low Countries, the daily struggle against discrimination continues.
Do We Still Believe in the UN Refugee Convention?
© Ahmed Akacha via Pexels
After lengthy negotiations, an agreement on the UN Refugee Convention was finally reached in Geneva on 28 July 1951. Belgium and the Netherlands were among the twelve countries to sign the convention at the time. Throughout the years, the convention has continued to be an important document for the regulation of refugees’ rights. Even in the Low Countries, however, not everyone is convinced that the seventieth anniversary should be celebrated with much fanfare.
Looted Art Must Return to Congo, but How?
© RMCA, Tervuren / Photo: Frederik Beyens
All those involved agree: Belgium must return the museum pieces that were looted from Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi during colonial times. But which objects are we talking about exactly? Who claims them? And what should be done with them in the country of origin?
Demonic Goats, the Flying Dutchman and Other Legends From the Low Countries
Why do the Japanese love a dog from Flanders? Why do Americans admire a Dutch boy who stuck his finger in a dyke? And why is 'The Flying Dutchman' a scary phenomenon? Find out in this podcast about folk tales and legends from Flanders and the Netherlands.