People from the Netherlands are proud of their traditions but most of all it is just about earning money
In general, we really don’t celebrate Christmas as a big tradition in the Netherlands. Of course, we decorate our houses and city streets with a lot of lights. And most of the people do also have a nice Christmas tree at home and spend Christmas dinner together, but that’s all. No presents underneath the Christmas tree or the belief in Santa Claus.
Carnival is quite big in the Netherlands and especially in the southern provinces. The names of the cities change to some funny traditional names. Through the whole year, people prepare the famous decorated vehicles and costumes for the carnival parade. Even in the south, children from primary school get extra days off because of all the carnival events. During the festivities all the funny-dressed people consume a lot of alcohol, starting early in the morning. The four times when I went for carnival I was dressed up as a carrot, pirate, ice witch and a bird. These types of costumes already show how crazy and weird you can go during the Carnival.
Easter is also like Christmas, getting more and more commercialized. In every supermarket, you can find kilos of Easter bunny chocolate. During the Easter days, children can do these ‘egg hunts’ in parks, gardens and inside houses. The eggs are painted in a lot of different colors and sometimes there is one special egg which leads to a treasure of chocolate.
In the end, if you would ask a Dutch person why we celebrate all these days and taking these days off as holidays we just answer it is a good reason for being together with family and to buy unnecessary stuff and too much food.
Merel Marcuse, a 19-year old girl who loves to sing, take photos of people & nature and to philosophize about everything.
Erasmus+ is a programme of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth, and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the programme acts, hence contributing to a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.