Of all the European countries Holland is the one that embraced the most the hippie spirit, its fashions and values, in depth of time. In its idiomatic mix of liberalism and conservatism expressed as a tolerance appreciated by the state system, Holland encouraged the birth of self-ruled communities and living patterns hard to encounter in the rest of the continent.
But, they are hippies!
Since my first years in the country the word “hippie” popped up in conversations merely out of nowhere. Like, I was once sitting at the café of the Art Academy in Rotterdam when a seasoned man (I was very young so he could be any age above 30) dressed in something furry and wearing a kozak hat jumped in the talk about the surrounding artworks and said almost angrily “Castaneda was a liar! Only hippies believed him”. No reason to start an argument … Later the same year, while looking for affordable housing, I knocked on the door of a squat in The Hague, where after all it seemed I had to go through a procedure even to take a look inside their well protected community; never happened. “But, they are hippies; they are vegetarians!” was the commentary I received for this attempt… obviously I had a lot to learn.
The house with a fence is not the only option…
The ideal set house with a fence (huisje-boompje-beestje) however the norm is not the only option. A percentage of Dutch people still lives in houses with shared facilities, usually with friends, as life choice. In their larger version, communal households have policies, hold regular meetings and demand work input from their members for the maintenance of the building. Next to this, think of the freedom of people on their bicycles and the casual clothing that goes with it; the multi-cultural society and the number of Buddha statues decorating Dutch houses; the non-chalance accompanying a little smoke; the second-hand markets and the hand-made little things that you can find over here, despite the mighty consumerism.
Las Palomas Hippiemarkt in The Hague
Share your passion!
It is a fact: something of the spirit of the hippie movement has survived in Holland and now young people are taking it further, adding to nature, creativity, etc. their passion for surfing and scateboarding; their very own expression of freedom. And because not everyone can throw oneself in the sea riding a surf board neither roll down the street on the city version of it, they give us the chance to mingle with their relaxed community by organising the Dreams Free Festival, on the beach of The Hague, in Scheveningen. Their moto’s:
Be true to yourself and follow your dreams!
Start doing things you LOVE and share your passion!
‘A dream doesn’t cost a thing’!
Last year’s (2013) edition of the Dreams Free Festival (official aftermovie)
It is possible; dare to ask!
Under the name Dreams, the organising team of artists, designers and of course skaters and surfers, sets up the Dreams Free Festival in Scheveningen for the third time. The festival is organised without budget. The idea is that everyone contributes a few hours of their passion and gets a weekend full of fun in return. No money involved, no age barriers, no stress!
Check it out: Dreams Free Festival on 3 and 4 May at F.A.S.T. surfers village (Strandweg 1A) in Scheveningen, starting at 13:00 each day.
Love, Peace, Happiness!