Sama Sama Maluku Festival in Netherlands: Celebrating Moluccan Heritage and Honoring the Elders

Sama Sama Maluku Festival 2024

Amsterdam Desk, Delhi Magazine: The Sama Sama Maluku Festival will take place for the first time at the Zegerplas in Alphen aan den Rijn on Sunday, 7th July. Expected to draw 6,000 visitors, it has become the largest Moluccan festival in the Netherlands. Organized by the Sama Sama Maluku foundation, the festival aims to honor the Moluccan elderly in Alphen, reflecting on their challenging past and celebrating their enduring spirit.

“We think it is important that we do not forget our elderly,” said Frangken Tuhumena, the organizer of the festival. “When they came to the Netherlands in 1951, many Moluccans were put in former concentration camps. They had a hard time.” Alphen aan den Rijn hosts a significant Moluccan community of about ninety families, many of whom have faced hardships since their arrival in the Netherlands.

The Moluccans were brought to the Netherlands in 1951, following Indonesia’s war of independence against the Netherlands, during which many Moluccans, including Tuhumena’s grandfather, served in the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL). After the war, the Moluccans were relocated to the Netherlands under orders from the Dutch government. Tuhumena shared his family’s story, noting how they were initially housed in wooden barracks in Roermond, a harsh reality faced by many Moluccan families.

“Imagine coming from a warm country to a foreign land where you don’t feel welcome and then being treated poorly. These soldiers were willing to give their lives for the Netherlands. It’s quite sad that it happened,” Tuhumena reflected. “That’s why we think it is important that our elderly continue to receive attention and that we never forget what happened.”

The initial plan for the Moluccans’ stay in the Netherlands was only six months, but it became permanent. Tuhumena, born in the wooden barracks in Roermond, eventually moved with his family to a Moluccan neighborhood built in 1965. “Stone houses, that’s what we called them,” he recalled.

About ninety families settled in Alphen aan den Rijn, forming a close-knit community despite the initial hardships. Tuhumena, now a successful third-generation businessman, organized the festival to spotlight the first generation’s struggles. “The first generation had it the hardest. And that is why we do it. We put our elderly at the center of our Moluccan festival to thank them for what they have had to endure since 1951.”

The festival will feature a special performance by “granny Sapulette,” a 95-year-old member of the first generation. “The first generation has almost completely disappeared, but we still have granny Sapulette. There are many of the second generation, also 70, 80 years old, who have integrated reasonably well into Dutch society. We of the third generation were born here and have adapted well. I think we all have a good life.”

Sama Sama stands for love, connection, respect, and faith, while Maluku represents the Moluccas. Part of the festival’s proceeds will support the elderly, such as the Pelita day, a Moluccan elderly day in Barneveld. “We contributed 3000 euros to that,” Tuhumena mentioned.

With nearly all of the 6,000 tickets sold, the festival promises a vibrant celebration with dozens of Moluccan acts, music, and delicious food, including the popular nasi koening. Activities for children will also be available, making the festival an inclusive event. “The festival is for everyone because we are looking for a connection with everyone who cares about us,” Tuhumena concluded.

Warning: Scammers Selling Fake Tickets for Sama Sama Maluku Festival

As excitement builds for the Sama Sama Maluku Festival, set to take place for the first time at the Zegerplas in Alphen aan den Rijn on Sunday, 7th July, attendees are urged to be vigilant against scammers selling fake tickets. According to reports, fraudulent sellers are exploiting the event’s popularity, posing a significant risk to unsuspecting buyers.

Organizer Frangken Tuhumena has issued a stern warning to the public: “In the midst of all this, scammers are selling fake tickets for the Sama Sama Maluku Festival. These fake profiles often only have 2 or 3 followers, so be careful!”

The festival, which celebrates Moluccan heritage and honors the community’s elders, has officially sold out, with only sponsorship tickets remaining available. Tuhumena emphasized the importance of purchasing tickets through legitimate channels to avoid falling victim to scams.

You would also love to read: What is the Oktoberfest? When and where is Oktoberfest Celebrated?.

Delhi Magazine Team

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