The Euro Cup fever has penetrated even my thick, football-immune, self-protecting bubble. It’s hard to ignore, because here in Holland, football fever wears such a loud color.
Orange is the national color, after the royal House of Orange-Nassau. The rallying cry is “Oranje boven!” which translates to “Orange above” or “Orange on top”, kind of like saying “Orange is the best!” These days, orange is everywhere: in the streets, on heads, in cars, you name it.
Here’s how I, a football-clueless girl from a football-clueless country, understand what needs to happen: Holland needs to win against Portugal today, and a bunch of other people need to lose, so that Holland can qualify for the Euro Cup and all this oranje fever can continue.
I’ve never been into football; I’m ashamed to confess I don’t even know the rules. But the sheer enthusiasm of the Dutch makes me want to get into it. It makes me want to put on my orange feathered tiara and shriek along with the rest of them… just because they make it look like so much fun.
If Holland loses today, there will be no more omnipresent orange banners, no more silly orange hats, no more crazy orange outfits, and no more packed bars for this curious expat to invade. The oranje fever can’t end, because I haven’t gotten into it yet.
So, in the interest of fun … I’m rooting for you, Netherlands! Oranje boven! Tuloy ang ligaya! HUP HOLLAND HUP!