Posted October 10, 2020 11:23:25The holidays have arrived.
The decorations of the year are now on display in all corners of the world, from malls to the city streets.
And for some people, the decorating will be a little more than just decoration.
“I just want to be able to express myself, not have to worry about it,” says a young man in a white and black headscarf.
“It’s been really interesting to see the world changing around me, seeing different cultures, seeing other people with different lifestyles and different customs.”
In the Netherlands, this is the new norm for people of Muslim and Christian background.
“It’s important to celebrate the traditions of this country, especially in the new millennium,” says Ali, an Afghan refugee living in the Netherlands.
“But we also need to celebrate our own cultures and traditions.”
The Netherlands has a population of roughly 5.5 million people, and Muslims make up more than a third of the country’s population.
They make up roughly 15 percent of the total population, but Muslims make a whopping 35 percent of all public school pupils.
This means that most Dutch public school children are not only exposed to Islam, but also the culture of Islam.
The Dutch school system has been facing growing tensions as a result.
In a survey by the Higher Education Authority in 2016, just 11 percent of students said they were happy with the way things were going, and the figure was much higher for those who identified as non-religious.
Many Dutch schools, like many other European countries, have also faced growing calls to make more room for Muslim students, or to integrate more Muslims into schools.
Some of the changes are being implemented by schools in the southern province of Zwolle.
In 2015, a Dutch school, The Het Oosten in Bijlmer, was forced to change its name to The Islamic Centre in Zwelle after the school was criticised for “ignoring” Islam.
The Het Osse Nieuwschool in Zwegenbosch, which is a non-Muslim school, is the latest in a series of school names to be changed to reflect the countrys Muslim population.