Minister Dijkgraaf finds day off for Keti Koti "interesting idea"
Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Emancipation) considers it an "interesting idea" to make Keti Koti, the day on which the abolition of slavery is celebrated and commemorated, a day off, he said in the program WNL on Sunday.
Dijkgraaf did not directly say that the Cabinet wanted the day to also be a day off, but he believes that "this part of history should have an important place in our heritage." He also stressed that such a decision should be made together with the community.
We moeten ons bewust zijn van ons slavernijverleden zegt @RHDijkgraaf, maar dat hele proces gaat tijd vragen en dat moeten we volgens hem stap voor stap doen. En "we moeten ook het gesprek aangaan met mensen die zeggen: ik heb er helemaal niks mee." #WNL pic.twitter.com/ao0FbCVlU2— WNL Op Zondag (@WNLOpZondag) June 4, 2023
On July 1, the king will deliver a speech at Oosterpark in Amsterdam. Insiders have already expressed the expectation that he will then repeat Prime Minister Mark Rutte's apology for the country’s slavery past.
July 1 also marks the start of the "commemorative year" celebrating the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery. The commemorative year will last longer than a year, the minister announced last week. Moreover, an additional 4 million euros will be allocated for it, bringing the total to 12 million euros.
Minister of the Interior Hanke Bruins Slot also thinks it is good to discuss this, she said in the Buitenhof broadcast. In her opinion, employers should also be involved, as they decide whether or not to give a day off. Earlier this year, Bruins Slot also said she was open to it and asked the memorial committee involved to look into the possibility.
Last year, a campaign was launched to take July 1 off. "I'm taking July 1 off until we're all free," was the slogan of Nederland Wordt Beter, radio station FunX, and The Black Archives. The campaign was supported by Tony's Chocolonely and cosmetics company LUSH. A petition was also signed by over 60,000 people.
Reporting by ANP