After a word of welcome from Rector Magnificus Frank Baaijens (“this week you are going to make friends for life”) and dean Lex Lemmens from the Bachelor College (“party hard, play hard and then work hard”), Shapiro appears on the stage. Most of the students, who make up a variegated bunch in T shirts in sixteen different colors (each Bachelor’s program with its own color), know him alright. Perhaps not so much from earlier performances, but they definitely recognize his voice from the film ‘Netherlands second’.
Within thirty minutes the American-Dutch Shapiro holds a mirror up to the Dutch audience and gives foreign students a funny look at Dutch customs. That it is very easy to get some hash, but that a doctor will not readily prescribe antibiotics, but rather says you need to rest. He talks about how bizarre it is that Germany, Spain and France feature in our national anthem, but that not a single word in it is mentioned about the Netherlands. It provokes a lot of laughter among the students, who are sitting and lounging on the lawn totally relaxed.
Afterwards one of the students gives his succinct evaluation of the official opening: “Hey, that was a lot more enjoyable than I had expected”.
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