After a tight year, the King Games were greeted with great enthusiasm in elementary schools on Friday. Only the universal subject (I + you = we) cannot count on everyone’s approval.
A colorful series of children flock to the school with the necessary noise. One wears red, white, and blue ribbons in her hair, and the other has a crown on his head. To welcome them, they extended their elbows toward Marc van der Maaten (43), also known as the cheerful and slightly crazy gym teacher.
With his tall figure, he stands spontaneously in the hall of De Wissel Primary School in The Hague. Especially for the King’s Games, Friday’s sporting event with a record 6,300 Dutch primary schools, wearing orange bell-legged shorts. Lights flash on his wig.
Yes, van der Maten felt like a party again, he smiled. ‘Just like children. They are careful. After a year full of restrictions – all sports have been canceled for example – it is as if a farmer is releasing his cows into the meadow for the first time of the year.
Previously intended as a one-off activity during King Willem-Alexander’s inauguration in 2013 and extended for the ninth time due to success, the King Games teach primary school children that a healthy breakfast and exercise are important. “This can also be fun,” adds project leader Anne-Marie Smith. “We basically want to give the kids a positive day.”
The fact that games and sports are taking place on a limited scale this year (and without a communal breakfast) is already a huge improvement over last year. Then everything should be online. This year, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima can attend physically again. They opened the King’s Games at a school in Amersfoort, against the backdrop of ornate fireworks and screaming children.
The King Games have a theme each year, which traditionally includes a song and dance practiced in the chapters prior to the event. This year I + you = we. The song – part of Children for Children – bears the title side by side† It all sounds pretty innocent, but a Christian elementary school parent thought differently, according to Nederlands Dagblad.
Word‘jiggyjig outside wholesale We do the dance together In her opinion, “sexual contact” means in Indonesian snake† Also about the sentence “look how beautiful, in that mix, he or she or an X”—a reference to inclusivity and gender neutrality—the parent in question was not at all happy.
After the woman shared a screenshot with a caption on Instagram, more Christian parents started getting excited about it. So are the municipal advisors from SGP and ChristenUnie. Arie Rijneveld, No. 11 on the SGP list and math teacher, described the song as “disgusting.” Some schools have decided to ban “vulgar text”.
For choreographer Lucia Marthas, who created the song with composer Gerd Osterhuis, jiggig Just a fancy term for “awesome dance move”. At a time when equality of opportunity and gender neutrality have become current themes, I thought it would be good to make a statement through the song. “I think everyone should be what they want,” she says over the phone. Schools can also fill in the “x” completely by themselves. ”
Martha stresses that the main purpose of the song is to move children. This happened in the last year of Corona. “The kids have been in the house for a very long time,” Marthas says. The ministry has ignored children who do not have a backyard. And that’s a lot.
At De Wissel Primary School – a co-ed school of 45 nationalities and many newcomer children – not a word was spoken of the song. “As long as we promote it with enthusiasm, you won’t be angry with it,” physical education teacher Mark van der Maten says as he strolls the sports field behind the school in his colorful outfit. Especially for this occasion there is a rubber castle and a Bana cage for playing football. There are also old Dutch games. Children run screaming from one part to another.
For young participants, king games are first and foremost a party. Most people forget that there is also a deeper dimension behind it. What is the X in the song? , a boy wearing glasses repeats the question. “I have no idea, Xbox or something?”
Although kids may not know what an “X” means, a lot of attention is paid to inclusivity at school, says Principal Bianca Hegsteig (orange sweatpants, white wig). “We try to convey to parents and children that everyone is equal, regardless of race, culture, gender or religion.”
The Corona crisis has stormed this school, with its vulnerable target group. But Heijsteeg has always believed strongly in children. You won’t hear her say the word “delay.” Prefer to talk about a “fresh start mode”. “Every child can develop into a gem,” says Heijsteeg. “It just needs a good cleaning.”
In the sports field, where the younger ones are swapped to the higher classes, attention has now been drawn to the school’s balcony overlooking the stadium. There, on the “podium”, the gym teacher van der Maten. His orange nail polish sparkles in the sun. He holds a microphone close to his mouth and sings: “I plus you, that’s us. That’s why we stand shoulder to shoulder.