Dutch paint the place orange
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.’’