Kwakoe Festival

A multicultural celebration!

Throughout its history, Amsterdam has been a haven for the persecuted and a place of commerce for people from around the globe. Immigration has made the country the strong nation that it is, and to celebrate, citizens of Amsterdam attend the Kwakoe Summer Festival!

What it is

Every weekend in July and August, citizens of Amsterdam flock to Bijlmerpark to participate in this free, multicultural event. The days are filled with movies, live music, dancing, food, sports and seminars that embrace Amsterdam’s culture. Each year, the family-oriented, six-week festival has a different theme which is expressed in the events. Close to one million visitors attend the festival each year. Originally, the festival focused on the Surinamese and black communities in Amsterdam, but today it celebrates all the cultures that make up this welcoming country. In the early years, the festival was mostly just a soccer tournament, but today, it has grown to encompass events every family member can enjoy – although soccer still plays a major role.

Why it’s held

The goal of the festival is to instill a sense of social consciousness, standards and moral behavior in the youths of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The hope is to inspire attendees with the success stories of some of the local presenters. Kwakoe strives to create a feeling of community, harmony and respect. To encourage this sense of community, most of the people who help with the festival are unpaid volunteers.

Kwakoe is an African word, meaning “Wednesday.” In 1963, in Suriname (a former Dutch colony), a statue of a freed slave was unveiled. As the statue was revealed on a Wednesday, it was given the name Kwakoe. Today, in Amsterdam, Kwakoe has come to be synonymous with emancipation.

Every country has its growing pains and Amsterdam has helped heal the Netherlands’ with the creation of the Kwakoe Festival. Bring your family to explore the colorful stands or learn a new dance step. Compete in some of the sporting events and strut your stuff. Enjoy delicious home cooking from around the globe with a distinctive Dutch twist. This festival is all about loving your neighbor and learning more about the Amsterdam community.

Kwakoe Festival

A multicultural celebration!

Throughout its history, Amsterdam has been a haven for the persecuted and a place of commerce for people from around the globe. Immigration has made the country the strong nation that it is, and to celebrate, citizens of Amsterdam attend the Kwakoe Summer Festival!

What it is

Every weekend in July and August, citizens of Amsterdam flock to Bijlmerpark to participate in this free, multicultural event. The days are filled with movies, live music, dancing, food, sports and seminars that embrace Amsterdam’s culture. Each year, the family-oriented, six-week festival has a different theme which is expressed in the events. Close to one million visitors attend the festival each year. Originally, the festival focused on the Surinamese and black communities in Amsterdam, but today it celebrates all the cultures that make up this welcoming country. In the early years, the festival was mostly just a soccer tournament, but today, it has grown to encompass events every family member can enjoy – although soccer still plays a major role.

Why it’s held

The goal of the festival is to instill a sense of social consciousness, standards and moral behavior in the youths of Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The hope is to inspire attendees with the success stories of some of the local presenters. Kwakoe strives to create a feeling of community, harmony and respect. To encourage this sense of community, most of the people who help with the festival are unpaid volunteers.

Kwakoe is an African word, meaning “Wednesday.” In 1963, in Suriname (a former Dutch colony), a statue of a freed slave was unveiled. As the statue was revealed on a Wednesday, it was given the name Kwakoe. Today, in Amsterdam, Kwakoe has come to be synonymous with emancipation.

Every country has its growing pains and Amsterdam has helped heal the Netherlands’ with the creation of the Kwakoe Festival. Bring your family to explore the colorful stands or learn a new dance step. Compete in some of the sporting events and strut your stuff. Enjoy delicious home cooking from around the globe with a distinctive Dutch twist. This festival is all about loving your neighbor and learning more about the Amsterdam community.