The Feel at Home Fair is the biggest gathering of the international community in the Netherlands. Over 4,000 people, representing more than 100 nationalities, come together in The Hague’s city hall to share their experience of life in Holland.
The Feel at Home Fair is known for the special warmth and atmosphere which it brings to The Hague every winter. The fair is a one-stop shop for help with everything from buying a house or choosing a school, to finding a sports club or even building a business.
Just as importantly, it is a meeting point and fun day out for the whole community!
‘Sport, for example, is a great way of getting people together because language and cultural barriers are more easily overcome by a shared interest,’ says fair organiser Billy Allwood.
‘Being active also contributes to our sense of health and well-being, while belonging to a club or participating in events gives us an important sense of belonging somewhere.’
All interests and pastimes
Around half of the 150 stands at the Feel at Home Fair are the domain of community groups representing all manner of hobbies and pastimes for every age. If you wish to play football or play the saxophone, even play the villain in the Christmas panto… you’ll find others who share your interest at the fair.
Try out Pickleball or Tai Chi on Central Park or join in with the Irish set dancers and cheerleaders from The British School. Take a stroll to The Community Centre for a workshop in Spanish dance or coffee and cake in the German Language Café. Or relax by The Podium and be charmed by the Finnish choir and the traditional Indian dancers.
Food for thought
The International Food Court brings together a diverse range of communities to share their passion for worthy humanitarian projects, as well as home cooking. In keeping with the community spirit of the Fair, all proceeds raised from food sales will be donated to these good causes. As well as sampling culinary delights from around the world, you’ll have the extra satisfaction of supporting these community champions and fundraisers.
Highlights include a delicious range of freshly baked and vegan dishes, produced by the Teach Nepal project, and flavoursome West African fare sold by Ataro Food and Spices in aid of the Beauty in Every Life Foundation. Aadhaar4u will also be offering a choice of tasty Indian snacks to support projects in their native land.
Showcase for small business
Alongside these community groups are dozens of small business stands, many of them run by people who originally moved to the Netherlands as expats but have since made it their home. These multicultural entrepreneurs have a special insight into the products and services that international people are looking for.
Information and workshops
Why is volunteering a smart career strategy? This workshop from Volunteer The Hague is just one in a full programme of free interactive sessions covering topics from effective writing and public speaking to life wisdom and succeeding in a Dutch work environment.
Several language schools are also on hand to help you improve your language skills. But don’t worry if your Dutch needs a little work. You will find hundreds of meaningful volunteer opportunities with local non-profit organisations which are open to English speakers. Whatever your age or skill-set you can find something for you to build your relationships, extend your network and maybe even discover a new career!
Entry is free to visitors who register in advance on the website: www.feelathomeinthehague.com.
You can also sign up here for the free workshops as well as view the entertainment and activity programmes.
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