Amsterdam’s Kwakoe Summer Festival

The popular Kwakoe Festival is Amsterdam’s biggest multicultural festival. During six weekends in July and August, people flock to Bijlmerpark to participate in this free, multicultural event. This summer, the festival began today, July 3, and will continue until August 29, 2010.

The festival offers live music, dancing, film screenings, sports events, lectures, and many opportunities to sample various types of ethnic food.Originally, the festival focused on the Surinamese and African communities in Amsterdam, but today it celebrates all the cultures that make up this welcoming country.

According to OnlyAmsterdam.com, the goal of the festival is to instill a sense of social consciousness and a sense of community. “Kwakoe is an African word meaning Wednesday. In 1963, in Suriname (a former Dutch colony), a statue of a freed slave was unveiled. As the statue was revealed on a Wednesday, it was given the name Kwakoe. Today, in Amsterdam, Kwakoe has come to be synonymous with emancipation.”

For more information, see http://www.onlyamsterdam.com/amsterdam-events/kwakoe-festival.aspx

Photo from http://genietsels.nl/dit-jaar-twee-kwakoe-festivals/

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