Saturday, March 12, 2005

What's in a colour?

Sitting down in shul last night, I couldn't help but notice the day glo orange fleece being worn by the gentleman in front of me. It immediately occured to me that there were 3 possible explanations for this atypical piece of apparel; either the wearer was:

1) Dutch and showing his support for the national football side
2) Extremely sartorially challenged
3) Showing his support for the settler movement

Given the typical political views of worshippers in this particular shul, I was unsurprised when he turned around revealing a logo which showed assumption number 3 to be correct. It set me thinking about the way in which something as simple as a colour can come to have symbolism. Orange in particular is a colour that has become almost synonymous with Holland for the sports fans amongst us; whenever they play, a large portion of the stadium is typically covered in the colour.

Perhaps the most extreme idea that I can think of is also taken from the world of football; one of the most bitter rivalries in world football is that which exists between Glasgow's two big clubs, Rangers and Celtic who play in blue and green respectively. Rangers fans won't wear green and Celtic won't wear blue but it goes far further than that with extreme examples including Rangers fans refusing to eat green vegetables on match days and petitioning to have the grass on their pitch sprayed blue!

To what extent has orange been taken over by the settler movement? Have those who support the disengagement gone through their wardrobes making sure that all vestiges of the colour have been discarded? Are oranges, carrots and pumpkin off the menu in the trendy cafes of upscale Tel Aviv and Herzliya? Will some sinister double meaning be attributed to my serving sweet potato soup next week?

It's a considerable leap of imagination to get to the more extreme of my suggestions but I could easily see a left winger making sure that their clothes were not likely to be misinterpreted. Meanwhile, I wonder how many settlers have changed to 054?!

Gilly

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Makes you wonder if the Northern Irish are scratching their heads and wondering how they got so many new supporters in Israel.

~treppenwitz~

Dark Horse said...

Probably not many settlers have moved to 054, because the Orange network is also called "Partner" in Israel, and don't you remember how they used to shout about how there was NO PARTNER?

Tzemach Atlas said...

Don't forget Orange Ukraine - What is the Orange Revolution?

Imshin said...

It's not only in Glasgow. Liverpool too. My brother, a staunch Everton FC supporter from the cradle, has never worn red (hated colour of Liverpool FC) in his life, nor tasted a tomato.

Gilly said...

Imshin - you can tell your brother from me that he's a loser - come on you reds!!

Dark Horse - very clever indeed - wish I'd thought of that.....

tafka PP said...

I was not aware of the spread to fruit and vegetables! So what would off-limits "Blue" food be for the Reds/Greens? Those Mr. Freeze "Blue Razzberry" flav. Ice Pops?!

Heard rumour this weekend that the orange version of the yellow LiveStrong bracelet says LiveInGaza. Think they'll sell boxes of them on to the Dutch after July?

Maria said...

wow dude, you would make a butt kicking anthropologist. The time I've spent at university disecting "the symbolism of the little things people do", causes me to absolutely love posts like this. More!

Anonymous said...

Well, I for one have stopped wearing my "future's orange" kippa for fear of misinterpretation. Although I still have a problem...

Yellow Boy

(hamavin yavin)

Tzemach Atlas said...

Is this true? DISENGAGEMENT PREP COURSE

Nushyman said...

You may joke, but...

Recently I participated in a Mercaz Hamagshimim charity walk to raise money for Hadassah Hospital's new infant emergency center. I had been everwhere gathering pledges for weeks and was quite chuffed with myself that I had managed to raise 4,000 shekels.

I turned up on the day of the walk to register and they handed me a helium balloon to carry. There were 500 hundred people walking on this walk and we were ALL carrying dark orange with blue writing Helium balloons. I didn't even make the connection till someone pointed out that these were the "chosen" colors of the settler movement. I felt a little uncomfortable - but even MORE so when we started walking and cars going past were honking their horns at us in support of "I don't know what"?

I popped my balloon.