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First Time on the Boat at Amsterdam Pride Canal Parade

Posted on Aug 17, 2022 by

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Pride Amsterdam is one of the biggest events in Europe, a festival celebrating the right to love who you want and be who you feel you are. This year, after a two years break, Amsterdam could celebrate the Pride once more. The theme for this year was “My Gender, My Pride”. It was a joyful week packed with events, and was closed by the spectacular Canal Parade.

For the first time, this year I experienced the Parade from one of the participant boats. And not just any boat, but the Romanian boat, taking part in this event for the first time! Their slogan: “East, West, Love’s Best!”. I was invited as a photographer, to capture the moments, and as a Romanian, proud to be there, and it was amazing! I was happy to be on this boat, because it was an important moment — a Romanian boat in an event of such magnitude, standing with people of all genders and orientations. Romania is not yet as tolerant as other countries, and it needs more conversations about this subject.

Rehearsal before the parade

The boat’s participation was organised by Romanians for Romanians in the Netherlands Foundation, and they did a great job at arranging everything, from food to choreography. The music was engaging Romanian party music (mostly), and it was heart-melting to see the audience dancing with us when we were passing by. The Romanian crowd on the boat was joined by a group of Ukrainian refugees and people from other nationalities (Dutch, Mexican), which I think it was nice, since we’re talking about diversity and tolerance.

It was a wonderful day, filled with good energy, and also very intense. I didn’t realise how much effort it takes to dance for a few hours, almost without breaks. The choreography needed to be repeated at every bridge! I was not doing the choreography, because I was busy taking pictures, but constantly moving up and down the podium got me sooo exhausted by the end. I slept that night like a baby, dreaming of the “Trenulețul” song. The parade was the day after my birthday, and it was a beautiful gift. I hope next year this will happen again, and, hopefully, I’ll be on the boat.

If you are wondering why do we still need Pride, I recommend you this article and this video from Badass Tours. Elyzabeth does a great job at explaining why Pride is still needed.

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