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Op Je Luie Haidewiets!

Author: Chip_douglas from Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands
5 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In 1980 VARA television was looking for a way to promote their charity effort to raise money and toys for children in the Third World. Flory Anstadt came up with an idea to create a long playing record filled with brand new children's songs. Further more, her plan was to let children send in suggestions for the songs subject matters themselves. Hence the name Kinderen Voor Kinderen; children's songs suggested by children, performed by a children's choir and aiding other children.

First broadcast on the 5th of December 1980, the night Dutch children celebrate the birthday of Saint Nicholas (who gives presents to little children). The next year the VARA made sure to broadcast the second live installment a few weeks earlier so viewers could ask the good old Saint the new KvK record as a present. For five years the shows were broadcast live, and the VARA thought the fifth anniversary would be the last. This one included a retrospective on the earlier shows and a performance by former KvK choir members who had grown too old (the choir has a age limit from 8 to 12). Four of these girls went on to form their own pop-group called Frizzle Sizzle and represent the Netherlands at the 1986 Euro Vision Song Contest.

However, the event returned for a 6th record and broadcast by popular demand. Only this time it wasn't broadcast live, but featured music videos strung together by a narrative of sorts in which Edwin Rutten & Ati Dijckmeester portrayed parent figures to the entire choir. This they did for two subsequent years. From then on the shows would alternate between being traditional performance shows of all the new songs and little plays in which the choir members would act out a story that incorporated the songs. Occasionally the stories would take up so much time that not all of the new numbers could be performed however.

For it's tenth anniversary in 1989, KvK became an actual song festival in which children choirs from each of the Dutch Providences would compete with each other. Two years later, the VARA joined forces with/began to compete against the Belgian BRT as Dutch choirs now took on Belgian once over a series of preliminary rounds and semi-finals. But this competition was dropped by the 14th installment which became another retrospective of the previous years. After that, the show returned to one program each year again.

By 1992 the charity function of the show was dropped and the lyrics to the opening tune were altered in concurrence. However, they choir still collected for several good causes on occasion, such as victims of the Tsunami in 2005. Presenters of the show would vary every couple of years, and as the years went on, music styles changed but the subjects send in by children on the whole remained the same. Popular topics that keep returning to K4K include coping with bullies and death in the family, falling in love, pets, TV and sport.

As the 30th anniversary approached in 2009, it was naturally time for another retrospective and a poll to vote on the most popular song brought forth by Kinderen Voor Kinderen (many of the songs have been repeatedly sung during preliminary rounds and such). Winner was still the favorite from the second show 'Op Een Onbewoond Eiland', which also holds the distinction of adding a new slang word for the human posterior to the Dutch language: 'Haidewiets'. Here's to the next 30 years of KvK!

8 out of 10

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