Last Sunday, while the city centre was still sound asleep, The Hague City Hall was alive and bustling with stall holders busy with the finishing touches of their stalls, performers arriving early to conduct sound checks as well as media partners, including the fair’s very own media team, setting up their equipment. Everyone was looking forward to a fun-filled day.
Even before 11pm, the first guests started to arrive and within half-an-hour, the city hall was transformed into a hive of activity. As part of the enthusiastic bunch of British school students reporting for the Fair’s media team, we were constantly snapping away with our cameras for the official website and Facebook page as well as tweeting for the Feel at Home in The Hague twitter page (and not to forget, the British School’s very own twitter feed.) Equally as memorable was the opportunity to conduct interviews with some of the stall holders and fairgoers. When asked about what made them feel at home in The Hague, many people talked about the ubiquitous international spirit, and I could not have agreed more.
This year’s Fair truly brought out the international spirit of this welcoming city— food stalls selling an array of dishes from sushi to jollof rice, music that resonated through the entire hall from the ISH and BSN choirs and orchestral bands (who else remembered the opening Star Wars theme song number), a wonderful performance by the Finnish Female Choir. On top of this, there was belly dancing, Irish dancing and many more extravaganzas that kept everyone glued to their spots.
However, the international spirit unique of The Hague is not just about the celebration of different food cuisines and cultures, but also of each and every individual. Everyone was all smiles on the day and extremely enthusiastic and participative.
It was a heart-warming experience to witnesses people from all walks of life coming together, to form an integral part of the community here in The Hague – and the sense of unity lingered in the air even as visitors left one by one.
The food was great, the entertainment was great, the company of people was great…what more could we have asked for!