Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Red Peril

To set the scene, Urban Dictionary describes a 'ginger' as 'A human, characterized by pale skin, freckles and bright red hair. "Gingers" are generally considered to be inferior to their more melanin-rich brethren, and thus deservingly discriminated against. Gingers are thought to have no souls. The condition, "gingervitis" is genetic and incurable.' I have had first hand experience with this with one of my best friend's mum's never growing tired of asking me whether I'd like a nice cup of 'Red Bush' snigger, snigger. However, one thing that is really great about being in the Netherlands is that being a little bit ginger is completely acceptable and even desirable, would you believe it? In fact they even have a whole two day festival in September (Roodharigendag) devoted to celebrating the carrot tops! Though I can only imagine that the streets of Breda, where the festival is held, during this time look like an explosion in a Wotsit factory.

I think most of us girls at one time or another have fallen victim to the classic 'home dye gone awry' situation, so my suggestion would be to hop on the next plane to the Netherlands and soak up the praise. I'm not sure why the whole ginger hating phenomenon began in the UK but I would guess that our large inventory of orange foods are only exacerbating the issue. (I don't think orphan Annie did us any favours either). In the Netherlands biscuit trivia is minimal with no distinction between a 'biscuit' and a 'cookie' and I'm pretty sure I haven't seen any ginger nuts knocking about on the supermarket shelves. They really don't take it as seriously as the Brits, I mean, you need the differentiation so as not to find a nasty surprise at the bottom of your teacup, right? So the Dutch are definitely not dunkers, but this can only be good news for the copper community.

The most amazing part of the festival is that some red-headed children in certain areas of the Netherlands get a whole week off from school in order to celebrate. I'm pretty certain that would cull the bullying issues in school corridors and even make for envious 'melanin-rich' children. I know everyone has an 'If I were Prime Minister' speech ready in their dreams, but I think this has to be the first time in history that someone took their's a little too seriously. I mean, come on, people come from around the globe to join in with the festivities and there are even dedicated lecturers that come to speak on a myriad of ginger related topics.

Strangely, considering less than 2% of the Netherlands' population are sporting the ginger tinge, it was a bit of a coincidence to discover that the girl next door is also in this minority and shares my name too! Maybe she would like to accompany me to this years festival. I think it might be classed as ginger etiquette to ask. She'd probably be quite upset if I went without her. Gingers united.

(Also, freckles mean I am a walking dot-to-dot. How is that anything less than amazing?)

Friends Forever


  1. Hi Annabel, thanks for following my blog! I always associate ginger hair with ancient hill tribes and celts, I think it's a lovely hair colour. It is very, very weird how people in the UK get bullied because of their hair colour, really weird. I actually do wonder where it came from... Glad that you have found an entire festival to celebrate ginger hair!

    1. No problem :) Yeah ginger pride is definitely something that needs to be spread internationally I think!

  2. Alisha would give all her pocketmoney to be a ginger ;-) (with curls)