On a more positive note, although also about a very tragic event, we went to a very nice charity concert this afternoon. A month ago a terrible earthquake hit Japan and the following tsunami killed more than 30,000 people, wiped a few coastal cities and seriously damaged a nuclear power station, threatening to turn the land into a hyper-Chernobyl. I am afraid the scale of the disaster still evades a full comprehension by the people here in Europe (including the Netherlands). I remember that there were much much expression of grief and mourning after the tsunami in Indonesia few years ago, perhaps because of the long historical ties of this country with Holland.
Just for the record, this maps roughly depicts the scale of the events in Japan:
And this is how it would look if the earthquake happened here in the North Sea; I guess, a great part of Holland would be under water by now:
It was therefore a pleasure to learn that people do condolence for, and empathize with Japan here too; we’ve been invited to this charity concert in the Novalis College in Eindhoven, to remember the tragedy and to support the people of Japan. The atmosphere at the event was very moving, calm and sober yet very uplifting. The concert was great too: we listened to the Japanese folk songs, a very nice performance of the koto artists, and then a very expressive demonstration of kendo.
There was also a Japanese calligraphy and origami workshops, both very interesting, but both packed with people who wanted to attend. I was not aware that Japanese community here is so large, and apparently pretty tightly bound.