Orange vs Oranje

Alright, it’s that time again. Time to put out the flag, set the Tivo, and drape anything that won’t move in orange. It’s time for some Dutch soccer! Hup Holland Hup!

Now I am a Southern girl and I live for SEC Football. Football in the South is second in attendance by its faithful; only slightly behind weekly church services. I love my Georgia Bulldogs. Junkyard Dawgs, Herschel, Vince, Irk, Larry Munson, the Redcoats, playing ‘tween the Hedges, Sanford Stadium, Uga…need I go on?  I am pretty sure the blood running through these veins is red and black. I grew up with an English Bulldog named Georgia Dawg, for goodness sake. As long as you don’t wear orange (that means you Tennessee Volunteers, Auburn Tigers and, ugh, Florida Gators), you are alright by me.

However, I have come to embrace the color orange. Sacrilege!

I was raised to think: “Who would actually WANT to wear orange? Such a garish color, it will blind you if you stare at it a little too long!”  However, once my husband came into my life, I began to understand how significant the color orange –or oranje as the Nederlanders say– was to the Dutch. The Royal House of Orange, the Orangemen, Go Orange!, etc. Once I understood that this particular color had such a long, storied and proud history with the Dutch people, I began to soften…albeit slowly. Orange tulips from the market appeared on our table, orange earrings were worn with my favorite black sweater, and soon I began carrying an orange Kate Spade purse.

Honestly, orange is a great color…as long as it is for representing the Netherlands. It’s still a tacky, hideous color if it is associated with any rival football teams that play my beloved Bulldogs.

So, here we are, a couple of days before the 2012 Euro Cup begins. The Dutch flag is hanging up in our home and the bunting will come out tomorrow. The menu full of Dutch delights is being planned, and my Wesley Sneijder #10 orange jersey is in the wash as we speak. The first match against Denmark this Saturday is Tivo’ed and ready to go.

Go Orange! I mean, “Go Oranje!”