Thursday, June 14, 2012

Orange, orange, orange

You know this is a big event when even Snickers changes their label!
and the Tic Tacs are the colors of the Ukrainian flag
Speaking of colors, the Euro 2012 fan zone in downtown Kharkov is a sea of orange. Beer-drinking, cheering, singing, sun-burned orange.
The Dutch are here en masse. Loudspeakers in the fan zone blast Dutch pop, party songs, and patriotic hymns. I heard the lyrics of "another one bites the dust" changed to "you're never gonna beat the Dutch." Orange volleyballs are tossed into the crowds and kept afloat with the hand not holding a beer. Fans dress outrageously- a man may dress as a woman, a carrot, or a king. Snack wagons advertise Dutch delicacies. The red, white, and blue flag of the Netherlands flies everywhere. It appears on people's backs, cheeks, collarbones, and braided into their hair.
Notice the other guy is drinking beer, haha
The Dutch are really
friendly. They pose for pictures with anyone who asks. My students are posting wild pictures on v kontakte (Russian Facebook) with groups of exuberant orange men, each new picture trying to be more rambunctious than the last. It's also common to see groups of fans and groups of cops combined together for one brief moment for a photo. I'm not sure who initiates this but there's a lot of back slapping and smiling as the groups break up.... and it's doubtful that there's any actual language communication going on. And wow, the Dutch are tall! Like a race of giants! Some of these men walking around are twice my height! Tanya and I were like tiny ants in a forest when pushing our way through the crowd.

You may be wondering about the orange.

These are typical fan apartments, decked out with the national flag and an orange flag.

The colors of the actual Dutch flag are red, white, and blue, but orange has traditionally been the color of the Dutch royal family and is now seen as a mega-patriotic color.

Tanya and I did see a couple of German fans, but they were far outnumbered by the army of orange. There's an Armin van Buuren concert in the fan zone tonight and I can only imagine the chaos! The orange chaos :p
Check out the guys being interviewed. Seriously, where can you buy a suit like that??!
For more pictures of people and costumes, head over to my Facebook page. And if you're visiting Ukraine at the moment, remember-
call mom!


  1. Loving the pictures of the Dutch fans- some of them look pretty crazy! Total orange explosion.

    Those Ukrainian flag-coloured Tic Tacs are amazing, too! Fun.

  2. Brings back very nice memories Katherine ;)

    1. I'm happy to hear that, Graham : ) Hopefully Ukraine will have more opportunities like this in the future!