Respecting the past but moving on

I am constantly amazed how different my home country (Lithuania) and the Netherlands are. There are so many great things that we could learn from the Dutch. The thing that I like the most – you can be whatever you want unless you hurt others. They don’t stick to the rules, to the stereotypes. Dutch as a nation constantly evolve and seek for something just a bit better, just a bit more suitable for people.

Yesterday I was in a concert (truly amazing one). The band is called Kaleo and they play something very close to the real rock. They were going all in and that was just amazing. So much love, some much passion for music I haven’t seen for a while but the story isn’t about them, it’s about the Dutch.

So, they play rock and one of their songs starts with “Devil is gonna set me free, Devil is gonna make me a free man.” That wouldn’t be anything special if the concert wasn’t in the old church. However, because Dutch aren’t religious at all (only 30% of the population identifies themselves as religious), no one prays in this church. Nonetheless, they respect the culture and history. Thus, the Dutch preserved the church and it is still a place for gatherings. It’s still a center of culture and shared values. Just now people not only gather there but also sing, talk, dance, drink once in a while. I know it might sound as extremely disrespectful but what is better – to abandon it or, the worst case scenario, to demolish it, or to make sure that people would still have the place to gather and to be happy?

I couldn’t imagine that happening in Lithuania. There would be way too many protests and resistance, but here… you respect it and learn to do something good with that history. So, that’s why I really love living here.

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