RNW Press Review, Wednesday 7 May 2008

7th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Catch the news in brief from the roundup of today’s press from Radio Netherlands.

7 May 2008

Dutch want flexible working hours
Trouw reports that a recent survey shows that nearly half of all Dutch people would like to work flexible hours, for example by working from home or in the evening.

Workers hope that flexible hours will allow them to better combine their careers with their private lives.

Forty percent of those interviewed are already working flexible hours to some extent, but working from home is still the exception. Seventy percent said they never work from home.

Nearly half of the people who work from home via internet and other digital technology say they are enjoying their jobs more, although some 10 percent complain that their private lives suffer from being available all the time.

The results of the survey reportedly point to a general trend of people mixing the work and private spheres of their lives.

Underage gays have no organisation
Today's Trouw also report on the problems facing gay youths under 16. The paper writes that very few parties or events are being organised for gays under 16 because gay organisations fear possible legal issues and problems with the children's parents.

However, there is increasing demand for such parties as gay youths are increasingly coming out at a younger age, and it is still not acceptable for young gay people to be seen kissing at the local neighbourhood party.

Hanneke Felten of Movisie, a knowledge institute for social developments, has drawn up a set of guidelines at the request of the national platform of gay youths. According to Felten, all organisations working with young people have such a protocol in place, except for gay organisations.

"Gay organisations are always under closer scrutiny than others, it is therefore doubly important that these organisations are prepared for possible problems." One of the problems these organisations may find themselves faced with is how to deal with parents.

"Not all parents are overjoyed when they find out their child is gay, they could contact a gay youth organisation and demand to know whether their child is a regular visitor there. Any organisation is legally obliged to provide information to the parents of a minor, unless this runs counter to the child's best interests."  

"These are difficult issues, so we advise these organisations to ask the child in question if they agree that information is passed on to their parents if requested."

Photos of gay couple create stir
De Volkskrant has a report on a controversial series of portraits of gay couples recently published by Iranian photographer Sooreh Hera.

She decided to publish her photographs in a book after a museum director refused to put some of them on display because the faces of one of the couples were covered with masks showing the portraits of the Prophet Muhammad and his son-in-law Ali. Portraits of Muhammad and Ali are banned in Islam and the link with homosexuality made the pictures even more provocative.

The paper writes that it is understandable in view of her nationality that Hera made these controversial pictures the main issue of the debate. The repression of dissenting views is the main reason she left her native country, only to find that even in The Netherlands there are limits to what can be freely presented and discussed.

However, according to de Volkskrant, the commotion about these two pictures has drawn attention away from the fact that most of the pictures in the book are rather innocent.

The paper says that Hera's portrait of gay life in The Netherlands is mainly proof that gay couples are really much like all other couples.  

Box and punch to create art
De Telegraaf has a picture of former professional boxer Arnold Vanderlyde enjoying himself tremendously with the latest art form: Paint boxing.

Paint boxing involves hitting a punching bag with paint-covered gloves. The former boxer created three major works of art this way, which were then given the finishing touch by professional artist Pim Smit.

The collaboration between the two men was part of the third edition of the Art Meets Sport event intended "to emphasise the importance of giving colour to your life and staying fit to maintain your balance".  

The three works of art will be sold off and the proceeds donated to various charities.

[Radio Netherlands / Georg Schreuder Hes / Expatica]
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