Many workers want to be able to trade official holidays for other days off
In a new survey by EenVandaag, almost half of respondents indicated they would like to swap one of the official Dutch holidays for a "diversity day." This flexible holiday would allow workers from different cultures or belief systems to celebrate holidays that don't necessarily fall on the Christian calendar.
Respondents from a Surinamese or Antillean background tended to favor the idea of a "diversity day" the most: 74 percent of them said they would like this holiday. On the other hand, four out of 10 people surveyed did not approve of the idea.
"I am absolutely against it," one of them wrote. "We live here in the Netherlands in an originally Christian culture. Other cultures have to adapt to us. Elsewhere in the world our holidays are not celebrated, are they?"
However, many people agree that some national holidays, like the upcoming Whit Monday, are becoming less meaningful even to people from a Christian background. "All those 'second' days (Boxing Day, Easter Day and Whitsun) are only for commerce. As far as I'm concerned, they can all be exchanged or abolished," one respondent opined.
Instead of these holidays, people said they would like to celebrate times of the year like Liberation Day or Eid al-Fitr, or take a day off during Pride month. Many respondents with a Surinamese or Antillean background said they wanted to celebrate the abolition of slavery on July 1, known as Keti Koti.
"I think this is an important day in the history of all Dutch people," said one respondent with a Surinamese background, according to EenVandaag. "If I really have to choose, I would hand in Ascension (and I am Catholic)."