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Dutch Festival Aims To Lure Expat Crowd

Moscow's Flacon Design Factory hosts a day of Dutch-themed festivities on Saturday aimed at expats and Muscovites. From noon until dawn the next day visitors will be able to take part in various activities such as a ping-pong tournament, a vintage garage sale and children's games as part of the free event which is supported by the Dutch Embassy.

"It is a pleasure for us to put on this event because Holland is a country with great experience in cultural and social projects. We are always looking to them for inspiration," said the event's curator Anna Nistratova.

The day's activities will embrace many cliches related to Amsterdam, according to Nistratova. "Holland makes people think of tulips, the color orange, art and so on. We wanted to have fun playing with these cliches."

The entertainment will be divided into several zones, each with its own theme and appeal. The central square will host a food court, musicians and flower stalls. In the entertainment zone, named oddly after Swedish tennis great Bjorn Borg, visitors will be able to take part in a ping-pong tournament, ride bicycles and have their photographs taken.

Children are invited to take part in an attempt to recreate the scene from Pieter Bruegel's 16th-century painting "Children's Games," which depicts children playing more than 80 outdoor games including Hula-Hooping and leapfrog. English-speaking animators will lead children's entertainment.

"We really want foreign families to be able to come with their children and to be able to communicate with everyone. There are lots of foreigners in Moscow, but they often live in a bubble. We want to create an environment where a mix of different people can just have fun together," Nistratova said.

At the end of the afternoon, popular Russian performance artist Sasha Frolova will demonstrate her famous "Aquaaerobika," which uses oversized toys and latex costumes. Frolova was chosen to perform despite having no connection to Holland because she holds universal appeal. "Her show is so colorful and unusual that I think everyone will enjoy it," Nistratova explained.

To coincide with Moscow's Night at the Museum event, which runs throughout Saturday night, Flacon will host a series of lectures in the evening, with curators discussing their favorite international museums.

In Hip We Hope will see DJs such as Drugoye Delo and The Cacao play old school hip-hop, jazz, instrumental and rap music to take the festival into the next day.

"Amsterdam Day" runs from 12 noon on Sat. to 6 a.m. Sun. Flacon Design Factory. Metro Dmitrovskaya. Tel. +7 (495) 790-7901. Admission is free.

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