Concept of the month January 2023: Variety night


We spent a week in the Alps, my family and those of 6 friends. There were 26 of us in total, fourteen adults and twelve children, aging from 3 to 16 years. For one week, we shared a house amidst wonderful mountains and various outdoor activities. It was heart-warming how well they all got along. On the second to last evening, we held the traditional ‘variety night’.

Celebrated usually on the last evening of a group trip, variety night is when everyone gets together to perform various acts, regardless of talent or experience. I love it. Anyone can do it, it’s all about the effort. And the effort alone makes it fun to watch. Actually, I think it’s best suited for a group of people who don’t go away together regularly. Getting to know each other in unusual circumstances, new emotions, connections and anecdotes arise. This can give way to unexpected combos and ditto acts.

The term ‘variety night’ doesn’t quite cover the Dutch meaning. It seems that this ‘closing gala night with amateur variety acts,’ as I would like to describe it, is a typically Dutch thing. The Dutch version contains the word ‘bont’, which can be translated as colourful, varied. In terms of behaviour and character, this is contrary to the image Dutch people have. This makes the variety night all the more suitable for acting out and showing your full or true colours.

We had loads of fun on our variety night. Young and old went all-in, performing surprising acts. Two friends and I decided to imitate a Spanish flamenco trio. While my friends actually play the guitar, I pretended to be able to sing. It was sheer joy in this warm bath of onlooking friends. I showed all my colours, as is customary on variety night.

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