A busy day filled with warmth and laughter
With a record 4730 applications for free tickets in advance of the event, the 2019 Feel at Home Fair promised to be a busy day, and so it came to be! An eclectic mix of clubs, associations, schools, universities and service providers came together to share tips about getting the most of life in The Netherlands. It was a day full of warmth and fun, with visitors fully engaging in the spirit of the Fair’s community theme.
Exploring the International Village
Fortunately the atrium of The Hague’s City Hall is a huge venue, so the crowds were quickly dispersed amongst the many different activity centres of the Fair’s international village. While some visitors lingered near the podium to watch performances from talented dancers, musicians and choirs from our local clubs and schools, others headed straight for Central Park to participate themselves in Spanish Sevillanas, Tai Chi and Irish set dancing.
Young families clustered around activity centres provided by local childcare providers and charities, while older students, job seekers and new arrivals headed to the workshops in the 1st floor office suite or The Hague International Centre, which had plenty to occupy inquisitive minds.
Bringing Communities Together
The Community Centre set a lighter tone, with impromptu games of pickleball, lacrosse and floorball interspersed with dance demos and flashmobs from a diverse array of cultural associations, all gathered around the central playground. Scots, Finns and Indians joined in an Irish jig, watched over by amused onlookers in the Ethiopian café and students from Project Africa, who raised an impressive 1000€ from sales of raffle tickets and colourful cupcakes.
Those fancying a heartier meal, followed their noses upstairs for fragrant Nigerian and Indian cuisine and home-made pastries accompanied by fresh ground Bolivian coffee, happy in the knowledge that profits from food sales were going to the worthy charitable causes represented by these international community fundraisers.
Food, Fundraising & Fun
After lunch, visitors and exhibitors took a stroll along the balconies overlooking the main exhibition floor and enjoyed the animation of the student groups, sports clubs and cultural associations, all vying for their attention in a friendly competition for new members, donors and willing volunteers.
The 2019 Feel at Home Fair was a celebration of the connected international community of The Netherlands, extending a warm welcome to newcomers and providing a friendly meeting place for old-timers. An event where everyone and anyone in our diverse community could Feel at Home.