The Netherlands also known as Dutch or Holland is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of twelve provinces in North-West Europe and three islands in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Amsterdam is the capital and the largest city of Netherlands. Other major cities in Netherlands include – Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Eindhoven, Tilburg, etc.
The official language is Dutch.
Around 51 % of population are irreligious. It is followed by 24 % population who are Roman Catholics. 5.5 % are followers of Islam and around 3.8% of population believe in other religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.
Diwali Celebrations in Netherlands :
In Netherlands, there are approximately 200,000 Hindus, most of them of Indo-Surinamese origin. Sikhs are another religious minority in the Netherlands, numbering around 12,000, mainly located in or around Amsterdam. These Hindu’s and Sikhs celebrate Diwali in Netherlands.
In Netherlands, most of the Hindu population is located in the Hague and Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, Amstelveen.
In many places, Diwali Torchlight Procession are held on the occasion of Diwali as shown in photo above.
Until a few years ago Diwali was always a low key affair in the Netherlands. But now with the recent influx of Indians imported for the IT, the town of Amstelveen is fast becoming Holland’s little India – with thousands of Indians settling there in the last couple of years.
Here Dutch Desi Diwali festivals are organised by cooperation of various organisations such as Holland India Surinam Business Association (HISBA), Sanatan Hindi Parishad Nederland (SHPN), etc.
Just like in India, India’s in Nederland celebrate Diwali by cleaning their homes prior to Diwali. During Diwali they decorate their homes with lights and diya’s, eat lots of sweets and delicious foods, make beautiful rangoli’s outside their homes, burst crackers and spend time with friends and family members.
There are Hindu temples located in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Enschede, Heerlen, Leiden, Rotterdam, Utrecht, etc. which people visit during Diwali to seek blessings of god and goddesses.