Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands was in Amsterdam on December 20, 2011, to attend the reopening of the Portuguese Synagogue. During the reopening the Queen toured the famous Ets Haim library where over 560 manuscripts are held dating from 1280. The synagogue was designed Dutch architect Elias Bouman and completed in 1675. Two years ago, the seventeenth-century synagogue was in dire need of restoration specifically the building’s foundation.
To learn more about the Portuguese Synagogue please visit their official website here.
It was announced that His Royal Highness Prince Willem-Alexander of Oranje (representing Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands) along with and Minister Rosenthal will attend the funeral of playwright and Czech ex-president Vaclav Havel on Friday, December 23, 2011 in Prague.
Mr. Havel died on Sunday at age 75 after a long illness. The state funeral, which will be held at the historic Saint Vitus Cathedral, will also be attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, United States Secretary Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Israeli President Shimon Peres according to AFP News.
On December 20, 2011, H.I.M. Emperor Akihito of Japan hosted the annual year-end luncheon for the Japanese government held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. Attendees included Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Farm minister, Michihiko Kano.
One week after the horrific attacks on the Place Saint-Lambert in Leige, Belgium more than 3,000 people, along with Their Royal Highnesses Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde, attended a remembrance ceremony in the square where shooter, Nordine Amrami, killed six people and injured 125.
Also, in attendance where the victims families, politicians including Prime Minister, Elio Di Rupo, and Interior Minister, Joëlle Milquet. After three minutes of silence honoring the victims Prince Philippe and Princess Mathilde laid flowers in the square then spoke with the victims families.
On December 18, 2011, the Bishop Museum on the island of O’ahu celebrated the birthday of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, founder of the Kamehameha Schools. During Sunday’s celebrations there were performances from Hâlau Ka Leo O Laka I Ka Hikina O Ka Lâ, traditional chants, a presentation from renowned historian, DeSoto Brown, and much more.
According to president and CEO of the Bishop Museum, Blair Collins:
Were it not for the love of Bernice Pauahi Bishop and Charles Reed Bishop for the people of Hawai‘i, and the Hawaiian culture in particular, we would not exist. They feared that the native people and culture of Hawai‘i were disappearing, and the Museum was their effort to protect and preserve this heritage for future generations. It is only fitting, that in honor of Pauahi’s day of birth, we open our doors to our resident and military populations and reflect on her life and legacy.
Today, the Bishop Museum is recognized as the principal museum of the Pacific, housing the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts and natural history specimens. More than 340,000 people visit the each year.
To learn more about the Bishop Museum please click here and here. By the way, if you have never been to this amazing museum I highly recommend that you do so if you happen to visit the island of O’ahu.