Image Courtesy : Travel Webshots

6th of July, 2010.

Tuesday evening, around 10.20pm Netherlands time.

The whistle blew signalling the end of a thrilling, high adrenaline semi-final encounter between The Netherlands and Uruguay.

And the Oranje fever gripped the nation!!

One of the smallest countries of the world, The Netherlands beat the odds to win itself a place in the FIFA World cup final 2010 in South Africa. This was after a period of 32 long years – Netherlands lost to Argentina 1-3 in the 1978 final.

The celebrations had begun. As we cheered for our winning Holland team outside our apartment in Rotterdam, we could hear our neighbors out on their respective balconies too. Waving the national flags and team banners, there was just one chant in the air – “Hup Holland Hup”!!  Just then started a procession of cars covered with the team flag – donning orange wigs and blowing vuvuzelas. The cheerfulness was infectious.

In Amsterdam, a crowd of more than 80,000 people had gathered to watch the match on the big screen. After the goal by Robben in the final moments, the crowd went mad. Fireballs went high up in the air and thousands of phone calls and SMSes were exchanged congratulating each other on the historic win.

The Netherlands woke up to an “orange” morning the next day. Newspapers were filled with pages and pages of praise for the deserving national team. Robben and Sneijder were undoubtedly the heroes of the match, with the rest of the team providing apt support. It was indeed a well deserved win.

Now, with Spain having defeated Germany 1-0 in its semi final match (in accordance with the prediction of Paul the octopus), the stage is set for an all-European final on Sunday – both The Netherlands and Spain are still to win a world cup final.

Here is wishing my dearest Holland team all the best for the finale. Fingers crossed.

PocketCultures World Cup fever continues with an update from the other side by Marta in Spain.

Read more:
Brazil: Speechless and lost
The hand of God and other World Cup drama
World Cup ads in Brazil

About the author

An Indian expat in the Netherlands, Arwa Lokhandwala is a freelance writer, writing on travel, culture and expat related issues. A voracious reader, a curious traveler, and an amateur photographer, she has featured in a number of online publications including the Lonely Planet. She loves people, colors, festivals, and cultures. Read about her expat tales and travel adventures on her blog - Orangesplaash.