Dutch Language Blog

Tragedy in Paris Posted by on Nov 15, 2015 in News

Friday became to be one of the saddest and most tragic in modern history. As I arrived in Mexico City after a long flight to visit family, I was greeted with terrible news: Paris was under attack.

When I first heard it, I thought it was a joke. How could Paris, such a beautiful and important city, be under attack from anyone? After seeing videos, photos and reading on different news websites from different countries, I couldn’t quite grasp it all.

Like I am sure all our readers know by now, there were 7 coordinated attacks to restaurants, theaters, the football stadium and at least 129 are said to be dead because of these attacks. The casualties were the average Parisian residents enjoying a Friday evening eating out or at some entertainment. France’s response to the attacks was to ask everyone to stay inside their homes, close the metro and other public transportation, close museums and other tourist attractions, close the borders and begin a very thorough investigation.

The attacks in Paris are very close in heart and distance to the Netherlands. Paris is only a 4-hour drive away from the Dutch border. The Dutch people were moved and hurt by the attacks on Paris. Here are a few highlights of what is being said in Dutch news:

  • Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, gave a press conference about the safety measures the Netherlands will follow. He asked the Dutch people to continue the Dutch way of life and to remain strong and united. He also stated the following after the attacks in Paris:

Nederland staat pal naast Frankrijk in nog grotere verbondenheid. Het gaat om onze manier van leven. Het gewone leven moet doorgaan.’ De ‘idiote barbaren’, ‘de griezels’ die de aanslagen hebben gepleegd, verklaarde de premier, hebben louter tot doel ‘onze westerse samenleving te destabiliseren en haat en angst te zaaien…Daarmee zijn we in oorlog. We zijn niet in oorlog met een geloof of de islam. 

  • Rotterdam’s Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb has stated that IS is doing an ethnic cleansing of other religions and cultures much like the Nazi’s did during the Holocaust. Mayor Aboutaleb, who migrated to the Netherlands from Morocco when he was young, has spoken against radical Islam time and time again.
  • Our neighbor to the South, Belgium, has been working together with French police to identify the people responsible for the attacks in Paris. A woman in Paris who lived near one of the restaurants was able to see that the car the gunmen used to escape had Belgium license plates. A couple of arrests have already been made in Brussels.
  • A flight from Schipol to Paris was grounded after messages in social media stated that the next attack would be in the Air France flight that connects both cities. The message also contained information about a flight from Brussels. These threats have not been confirmed by the authorities and could very well have been a hoax. What is true is that several security measures have been taken at airports and train stations around the country.
  • Sinterklaas’s arrival to the Netherlands on Saturday went ahead as planned, however, security was increased to make sure that the celebration was a fun and safe one for everyone. There were no incidents reported during the day long festivities in the Netherlands.

There are many questions that remain unanswered about the attacks in Paris. We must wait for an investigation and trust that our authorities are doing their best to bring the perpetrators to justice as well as to keep us safe. It is important to remain calm and united, and like Prime Minister Rutte said, we must continue our lives.

Photograph by beatriceurruspil found in Flickr.com

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


  1. Peter Simon:

    “A flight from Schipol to Amsterdam was grounded” – I’m sorry, which flight did you really mean???

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Peter Simon Thank you Peter for noticing my mistake. My mind is a bit off with the jet lag.