Burendag: National Neighbor's Day celebrated across the country
All over the Netherlands people are doing fun things with their neighbors on Saturday. On this “Neighbor’s Day”, the so-called “Burendag”, neighbors meet to get to know each other better and make their neighborhood more livable.
Vergeet niet dat het vandaag #buurdag is. Ken je je buren? Maak optimaal gebruik van deze kans met hen. Wij deden dit met de organisatie Het Anker op het Staalmanplein in Amsterdam.#kunstvanhetsamenleven#burendag #stichtingburgerhartamsterdam #Amsterdam #oranjefonds pic.twitter.com/f9xFSdQnSO— Stichting Burgerhart Amsterdam (@StichtingBurge1) September 23, 2023
For example, there are street parties, people work together in neighborhood gardens, quiz games are organized, and people eat lunch together, sing or make music. Activities are also organized in many community centers. This year there are over 8,000 initiatives spread across the country. Last year there were about the same amount.
The activities on Burendag "make it easier to get to know neighbors you wouldn't normally meet. And after such an initial meeting, it's easier to visit each other or ask for help. So a neighborhood bingo or an afternoon of games can have much more meaning for the neighborhood than you first think," says Arsine Nazarian of the Orange Fund. This fund, together with Douwe Egberts, is the initiator of this day.
According to the initiators, neighborhoods "become more social and more fun when neighbors meet, help each other, and work together for the neighborhood. These contacts are the basis for a socially strong society in which everyone matters."
More than 100 reception facilities for asylum seekers will also open their doors to interested parties on Burendag.
According to the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and the Immigration and Naturalization Service IND, this day organized by the Oranjefonds is very suitable to emphasize that asylum seekers are neighbors of everyone in their environment. Last year, approximately 12,000 people came to take a look at an asylum seeker center, according to COA.
En tijdens Burendag zet ook @COAnl locatie Paasberg waar 65 minderjarige vluchtelingen worden opgevangen haar deuren open. De jongeren hebben zelf in de keuken hard gewerkt om de buren iets lekkers voor te zetten. Wat een culinaire verrijking! pic.twitter.com/fWmsTXerWL— Sebastiaan van 't Erve (@SvtE) September 23, 2023
The asylum seekers' centers are open for visitors on Saturday afternoon. There, the COA, the IND, the Return & Departure Service, and the Refugee Council explain their activities. In principle, asylum seekers live in an asylum seekers' center who have been admitted to the asylum procedure in the Netherlands, but who do not yet know whether they can stay in the Netherlands. Since there is a great shortage of living space, the asylum centers also house many status holders. These are refugees who already know that they are allowed to stay in the Netherlands, but for whom their own housing is not yet available. Children in asylum seeker homes go to school.
In many asylum-seeker homes, residents serve snacks from their home country on Saturday. COA Board Chairman Milo Schoenmaker visits the asylum seekers' home in Amersfoort together with two mayors. You can find out which centers are participating in the open day on the COA website.
Reporting by ANP