Editorial: Happy Sint Maarten Day

POSTED: 11/8/13 3:06 PM

On Monday, Sint Maarten will celebrate Sint Maarten Day on home soil for the second time since the island obtained country status in 2010. It is an occasion to celebrate who we are – or who we want to be.

The expression one island – one people has come from different corners but in the real world the feeling of togetherness between the Dutch and the French side hardly exists.

One could argue that our neighbors make more of an effort, given the fact that many on the French side master the English language, while mastery of French on the Dutch side is a rarity.

Few politicians realize that this split reality is in fact one huge missed opportunity. We could benefit from each other’s resources, but we do not. We could work together, but we only do that on Sint Maarten Day. We could learn from each other, but there is no structural exchange.

The idea once suggested by Daniel Gibbs to establish a joint parliament – consisting of representatives from the territorial Council in Marigot and the Parliament in Philipsburg – has long been forgotten.

If we started to celebrate who we want to be and where we want go on Monday – and truly think about it – that much heralded but hardly executed cooperation with the French side could turn into something that benefits all citizens.

Nevertheless, we wish our readers and clients a very happy Sint Maarten Day.

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