This is a story about how flash mobs were introduced in the Netherlands. So just a short history with a strong europian accent.
After the Second World War people in the Netherlands were poor, time of work was long, lasting at least 48 hours, so what did the 20-ties generation do on the Saturday nights? Jam-sessions were the answer. After that, the next generation, born in the 40-ties (the provo’s and the hippy’s) played their guitars and started their famous Hi-Ha-Happenings – it was in the era of 60-ties while the young (flower power) generation 20 years old started to form a “New Europe”. Both missed, did not see, the next generation and were wondering about that. But, of course they also came. In the 80-ties the “pop concerts” and in the 2000-ties the “flash mobs“.
The electronics entered the houses and bedrooms of boys and girls on a grand scale. Radio, TV and recorders became very popular and many people owned them. So after having seen great musicals, young people started to imitate/repeat (sing and dance) hits from it. In the beginning it was preformed (mainly) in the railway stations as there were audio installations and it was where they met each other daily on their way to and from schools and colleges. The idea behind it was: surprise the public, let them join if they want, but do not take more than 5 minutes (it is an obstruction of the public space). The joy is also to be seen on the faces of the audience!
Flash mob, Warsaw, Golden Terraces
Belgium and The Netherlands
One of the oldest flash mob (recorded on YouTube) happened in the central station of Antwerp (Belgium). Another one was giving respect to medics and people with rare diseases at their meeting in Amsterdam (Netherlands).
Antwerpen: Central Station, Amsterdam: Rare diseases,
Amsterdam: Central Station, Amsterdam: Dam squire, Amsterdam: Waka Waka,
Arnhem: (party rock), Doetinchem: Proposal, Efteling: Winter opening,
Leuven: Happy Christmas, Schiphol airport: Christmas, Vienna: the blacksmith, Warschau: Centre Arcadia, Wroclaw: main market squire,
Furthermore also the classical music was introduced into it. Most time just for fun, but sometimes just to get attention for a full concert.
England: Covent Garden, France: Paris, Germany: Bavaria,
Germany: Europ passage, Germany: Cologne, Hungary: Budapest,
Hungary: Cluj, Italy: Verona, Italy: Rome,
Spain: library in Valladolid, Spain: Valencia, Sweden: Stockholm.
After the end of the 80-ties the final of the 9th symphony of Beethoven was very widely accepted, by the people in the Streets, as the anthem of Europe. On november 25, 2011 it was by big surprice officially sung (on a Dutch text!) at the university of Leiden. One of the joys in it? It is not written to march on!
Europian anthem (Ode to the Joy)
Austria: Innsbrück, Austria: Linz, Azerbaijan: Baku,
Bulgaria: Chisinau, France: Strasbourg, Germany: Station Leipzig,
Germany: Neurenberg, Germany: Mains, Griekenland: Larisa,
Israel: Jiddish, Italy: Venetia, Moldavia: Chisinau, Netherlands: Leiden, Singapur: Luchthaven, Spain: Sabandell,
Ukrain: Odessa, Yougoslavia: Skopje.
* So the flash mob, as an idea, hits the world!
Australia: Sidney, China: Honkong, Finland: st Patricks Day, Russia: Moscow, Russia: Udmurtia, Russia: ???
Singapore: Airport, Ukraïne: Odessa, USA: ???