Dutch paint the place orange

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Michelle Kauf­man

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Their an­ces­tors trekked here in the 17th cen­tury, and set­tled this beau­ti­ful sea­side city as a trad­ing post for ships trav­el­ing to the Dutch East Indies. They im­ported slaves from Malaysia and In­done­sia, and those slaves’ de­scen­dants are very much a part of the city’s rich cul­ture.

In the mid-1800s, Dutch­s­peak­ing farm­ers (Bo­ers) dis­sat­is­fied with the Bri­tish ad­min­is­tra­tion mi­grated in­land and formed the re­pub­lic of the Orange Free State, just north of the Orange River.

It seems some­how fit­ting then that tens of thou­sands of Dutch fans, col­lec­tively known as The Orange Nation, have mi­grated here for to­day’s World Cup semi­fi­nal be­tween the Nether­lands and Uruguay, South Amer­ica’s last hope. They are swarm­ing the water­front in ev­ery­thing orange … hats, wigs, scarves, feather boas, you name it.

A cou­ple hun­dred of them even drove 12,000 miles from Am­s­ter­dam, in a con­voy of 22 orange cars, buses and trucks. In case you are won­der­ing why orange, con­sid­er­ing the Nether­lands flag is red, white and blue, it dates back to Wil­liam of Orange, and the Dutch royal fam­ily, whose of­fi­cial color was orange.

Uruguay only has a few hun­dred fans in town.

“It will be nice to have the crowd sup­port,’’ Dutch winger Ar­jen Robben said, “but we can’t get too com­fort­able. We’ve lost be­fore when we ex­pected to win.’’

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