More than applause (Or: Shoes at the Malieveld)

While out walking today I spotted some shoes by the Malieveld. And by “some shoes” I actually mean hundreds of pairs of shoes. Today healthcare workers held a demonstration called #meerdanapplaus (more than applause). You can probably guess what that is about – it’s great that everyone claps for healthcare workers, but what about giving them a raise and hiring more workers to to prevent burnout? The sector did receive an 1000 euro bonus and is slated to receive a 500 euro bonus next year but more could be done.

Due to the corona restrictions, the healthcare workers couldn’t be there in person, so they sent their shoes instead. (After the demonstration the shoes will be sent to various charities.)

In a similar vein, do you remember my post about Irma Sluis, the Dutch sign language interpreter who stole the hearts of thousands with her “panic buying” sign? In Dutch panic buying (or hoarding) is translated as hamsteren, since hamsters are known to squirrel away food. Since there was no official sign for that term in Dutch sign language, it was created earlier that day.

The Tweede Kamer (Dutch House of Representatives) passed a motion earlier this week to recognize Dutch sign language as an official language (, article in Dutch). The language is used by about 15,000 residents. The law also states that Dutch sign language interpreters must be used more often by the government, for example during important press conferences. The article mentions the fact that sign language courses have seen a huge boost due to the “Irma” effect, although there is still more that could be done. At least it is something positive to come out of this crazy year.

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