So last Saturday (August 1st), I attended the Canal Parade, which is undoubtedly the most sought after attraction of the Amsterdam Gay Pride festival, attracting hundreds and thousands of locals and tourists. I was extremely excited about attending the parade all week, since it seemed so theatrical in its setting and spirit, and I wasn’t disappointed to say the least.
In my last post
, I wrote about Dutch tolerance and just letting people be, and its acceptance for the LGBT community is a huge example of that. The Amsterdam Gay Pride, a week-long celebration is possibly the largest of its kind, across the globe and the city of Amsterdam truly comes alive with parties, events, exhibitions and more. The crown in this week long party is of course the Canal Parade which had over 80 boats, with DJs, colors, people and performances, truly having a blast. And all of this with a strong message of tolerance and acceptance, but done in the most fun way possible 😉
I was told to grab a good viewing spot by many, but once I reached the canals, I realized that each spot is as good as another, so I decided to walk through the canals, and stop whenever I pleased. There was so much excitement all around, the canals were jam packed with people, many had grabbed nice spots and laid out their mats, booze and food, and the houses on the canals had their residents out on the window sills. No surprise then, that I went a bit crazy with my camera to try and capture the colors, fun and merriment (have posted some videos as well on Instagram).
But I feel pictures can’t do justice to the spirit of this day – a sense of pride in being who you are and having fun with it, no qualms indeed! There were people who specially stopped me to get their picture clicked, there were many who I stopped and they happily obliged – no shying away, no hesitation, no second thought,whether they were young or old, single or not, men or women(or not), crazy dressed up or just plain vanilla, straight or otherwise – there was just pure unadulterated pride in themselves and their way of being. Wonderful, isn’t it? In a world where we are all trying to be someone else (or someone else’s idea of perfection), it must be truly liberating to be your own person and that too with pride.
I hope I carry what I felt with me that day, wherever I go, wherever I end up.
Enjoy the pictures 🙂
(Click on the pictures for a bigger view)