A couple of weeks ago my publicist Jeanna Zelin asked me to write an article for More Magazine…
A couple of weeks ago my publicist Jeanna Zelin asked me to write an article for More Magazine titled: Starting Over, With Nothing. I immediately dove in and sent her the article the next day. To my delight it was published yesterday. Click on the article below to read the full story.
On Sunday morning, I received a call from my publicist Jeanna Zelin, letting me know that the BBC wanted to interview me about Curaçao’s autonomy and about my book, The House of Six Doors. The interviewer, Tom Hagler, was delightful to speak with and made the interview fun. Here is the interview.
When people ask me about my accent, I tell them I’m from Curaçao, one of the islands of the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean. But this will forever change on October 10, 2010 because the 56-year-old Netherlands Antilles will cease to exist. On that same day, two island countries will be born, Curaçao and Sint Maartin, as autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The three remaining islands of the Netherlands Antilles, Saba, Bonaire and Sint Eustatius, will become special overseas territories of the Netherlands.
Doktor Moises Frumencio da Costa Gomez in Willemstad, Curaçao.
It was December 1946, when my uncle, Doktor Moises Frumencio da Costa Gomez, started negotiations with the Kingdom of the Netherlands for autonomy for the six island territories colonized by the Dutch in the West Indies 500 years before. He was successful, and in 1954 the six-island constellation known as the Netherlands Antilles was born as a separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Patricia Selbert at the World Equestrian Games, carrying the flag of the Netherlands Antilles.
I have mixed feelings about 10-10-10. I’m sad because the collection of islands I’ve known as my native country, will vanish. The flag of the Netherlands Antilles was the flag I carried at the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm, at the World Equestrian Games, and at the Pan American games in Indianapolis.
This flag was altered in 1986 when Aruba became an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, leaving only five islands in the Netherlands Antilles and five stars on the flag. On Sunday, 10-10-10, that flag will be laid to rest, never to be flown again. I mourn the dissolution of a the Netherlands Antilles. I am forever grateful for what it’s given me. It was a country of which I have been proud to be a citizen.
Patricia Selbert at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, representing the Netherlands Antilles.
Curaçao holds my roots and the history of half of my ancestry; the other half lies in the Netherlands. Curaçao is the island I’ve know as home and it was my universe as I grew up. Curaçao is my muse and the place where my stories are born. I celebrate the birth of this diverse and colorful new country. Happy birthday, Curaçao!
If you haven’t seen the first trailer for The House of Six Doors, you may want to see it now. Perry Norton narrates a passage from the novel in a very peaceful manner. Most of these fabulous pictures were taken by Isaac Hernández, who also did a tremendous job with the editing. A couple of the pictures were taken by Lucien Lieuw-Sjong, a local Curaçao photographer.