Stories about Dutch

7 moments that prove FIFA World Cup is more than just football

Back in the day when I started regularly following football, one of the things that struck me most about the game was its rich history. The archives of the FIFA World Cups in particular are engrossing to say the least. The furore surrounding some of the more notorious events gives enough credence to the fact that the quality of football is not always the solitary source for noteworthy events. Some of these moments can woo the world with their brilliance, while others can make our heads fall in shame. Nevertheless, they tend to live long in the memory of those who ...

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Why is it so easy to kidnap a child?

Imagine going through an abusive marriage while holding up to be an inspiration to your daughter simultaneously. Imagine your three-year-old daughter, your angel, being kidnapped by your very own husband and taken away to a country across the globe. Imagine doing everything you can in your power to get her back, yet failing at every turn. Imagine living for months without hearing any news of her, without knowing if she’s okay and being taken care of. Imagine her continuously crying profusely for her mother yet you’re unable to hold her in your arms and soothe her. This is what my friend, Nadia ...

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In beauty is a wound, Eka Kurniawan proves that he is the literary heir to Salman Rushdie and Garcia Marquez

Every once in a while a novelist surfaces on the literary landscape from a bookishly dormant and reclusive country, whose literature has been ignored and underrepresented in the Western literary consciousness for far too long, and takes the entire book world by storm. Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie from Nigeria, Han Kang from South Korea, Yuri Herrera from Mexico, Aminatta Forna from Sierra Leon and Porochista Khakpour from Iran are a just a few contemporary examples. And now, Eka Kurniawan, a young and precocious Indonesian novelist, is a thrilling new discovery and an exciting addition to the list. In Kurniawan, Indonesia has, at ...

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Why has it become so acceptable to know English but not know Urdu?

“Humne Urdu k saath sautanon wala sulook kara hai aur almiya ye k ye samjhanay k liye bhi aik dusri zubaan ka sahara lena parega.” (We have always treated Urdu as a step-child and the worst part is, in order to fully understand our native language, we seek help from a foreign one.) It hits hard, doesn’t it? Sadly, what we never realise is that language is an art that breathes with those who breathe it. It matters not which language you speak, neither does is matter what your prowess is in the language, but what does matter is the respect any and all languages command. ...

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Van Gaal – Testing patience and losing balance with 3-5-2

New year – same old story. Manchester United may have improved their league position under Louis Van Gaal in 2015 but the performance in the defeat to Southampton was eerily similar to the ones put up during the early part of last year in the ill-fated era of David Moyes. While United fans have warmly embraced Van Gaal as a significant upgrade on the inept Moyes, the former’s persistence with the 3-5-2 formation is testing their patience. Tellingly, his opposite number, Ronald Koeman, said in his post-match interview that harassing United’s three centre-backs was part of his game-plan. [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

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Satiating your wanderlust with the top 10 places to visit in 2015

It is undisputable that travel broadens horizons. The more we travel, the more we see so-called ‘different’, the more we realise that we are all alike. We learn to accept people as they are and not try to change them into ‘our’ mould. I mean, even in the so-called ‘exotic’ places, parents frown upon their children for coming home late and spouses squabble over the monthly housekeeping budget and life goes on as usual. This is when you discover that people are all alike underneath. I pride on having visited many places but wanderlust is something that can never be satiated. ...

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At Old Trafford, do as the Dutch do

As the English Premier League season has started, and looks very exciting already with the clubs and respective fans eagerly waiting to have a look at the new signings, Manchester United fans might be most anxious about the new season. United’s seventh position in last season’s league, their lowest ever in EPL history, and the sacking of former manager, David Moyes, hasn’t helped them in regaining much of their glory. But with Louis Van Gaal taking the hot seat at Old Trafford this season, after a successful World Cup campaign with the Netherland team, glory seems hopeful (a tad bit). Van Gaal looks ...

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2014 FIFA World Cup: The good, the bad and the ugly

The Brazilian Carnival is one of the world’s most colourful and exhilarating events – Outdoor parties, colourful performers, magnificent floats, talented musicians. It truly is a fine exhibition of the Brazilian culture. The world was expecting a similarly elating event when the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony kicked off on June 12, 2014, at Arena Corinthians Stadium in Sao Paulo. Unfortunately, it turned out to be perhaps the worst World Cup opening ceremonies ever. The organisers of the event failed to understand that Brazil is more than just talented football players and colourful costumes. It has a rich culture ...

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Spanish bulls annihilated by the flying Dutchman, what’s next?

On July 11, 2010, in the cauldron of the Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg, the Spaniards shimmied their way around the unsparing Dutch to win their first world cup, a victory of classy tiki-taka over oafish display. Four years later, at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil, we witnessed a Dutch Reconquista. It was a sight of corrida de toros (Spanish bullfighting), where Dutch bulls ran, veered and jostled past Spanish matadors, reducing their morale to dust by netting a cascade of goals. It was one of the most unforeseen results in FIFA World Cup history. On each of the previous occasions, where a team, that is defending ...

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Will Louis van Gaal bring back Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy?

Now that the euphoria of Louis van Gaal’s appointment as Manchester United’s new manager has evaporated, it is worth assessing the scale of the task he has at hand. After seeing the club encounter their worst run of form in a generation, the ruling Glazer family and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward decided to sack the hapless David Moyes. After weeks of speculation of his appointment, Van Gaal was finally confirmed as the new manager on May 19, 2014. However, he has plenty of work to do to bring the recently displaced English champions back to where they belong. Ryan Giggs (R) and David ...

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