Dam tot Damloop 2022 - Blog - Paul Nas, Balafon-passion!
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Dam tot Damloop 2022

Dam tot Damloop 2022

Dutch French

On 17 September, as in previous years, Negunya had signed up to play during the  ‘ Dam tot Damloop 2022.’ This running race goes from the Zaanse Dam to the Amsterdam Dam. It already promised to be a cold wet day, so I had brought my big party tent. That worked out well, although with wind gusts we had to grab it to prevent it from going up in the air. We had agreed on a ‘shout’ for it after which everyone would grab a pole…..

There were a nice bunch of us: Yvonne and Winnie, Rik, Hans, Marcin, Robert, Anne Marie and myself. Marcin had brought his Clarinet and was able to play along nicely on the song Awa Dabole. Bells too, a little djembé added. It was beautiful!

Unfortunately, not everyone in the neighbourhood found it listenable, because an angry local resident came to get redress and summoned us to stop. Since we had been hired by the organisation, we didn’t think that was a good plan…. But after further intimidation, we decided in consultation with onlookers who had rushed to soothe us that we would play for another half-hour. We then also encouraged the runners for half an hour but then it was also by now the end of the game. Next year we will probably get a different spot.

Dam tot Damloop 2022

Tent was no luxury.

Tent vast houden

Holding on to the tent during the Dam tot Damloop 2022

The history of the Damloop.

“After World War II, the North Sea Canal was a major obstacle from Amsterdam to the north, and vice versa. The Zaan region, especially Zaandam, therefore noticed this first hand. For crossing, the Hempont was the most important connection. In 1959, it carried 5,800 cars daily, with waiting times of up to three quarters of an hour. Not surprisingly, action was taken for a better, faster connection. That would have to be a tunnel under the North Sea Canal. So the Dam to Dam race was organised: from Zaanse Dam to Amsterdam Dam. It did not matter how one moved between starting and finishing point, as long as it was fast. Above all, it was a playful action. In the race and its preparation, spectators could enjoy strange apparitions such as cossacks and camels. Zaandam mayor Francken walked in a diving suit along the bottom of the North Sea Canal from Amsterdam to Zaandam. A host of Dutch celebrities also took part, including poet Simon Vinkenoog and illustrator Opland. Winner was 32-year-old Wout Bruynzeel with a time of 10.25 min, using a speedboat. The tunnel came to pass. On 21 June 1966, then Queen Juliana opened the Coentunnel. Meanwhile, this link has too limited a capacity and the Second Coen Tunnel was opened in 2013.”

Paul Nas
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