Most of the people who approached us during the performance gave money without recognizing the national anthems. They donated in appreciation of the barrel organ. Around twenty people gave money because they recognized the song as ‘their’ national anthem. They looked surprised and sometimes even a bit proud. Most of them were older people, probably immigrants from first or second generation. The people who recognized ‘their’ national anthem, showed interest through eye contact, smiling or pointing. There was one Moroccan who placed his right hand on his chest and stood still as if it was a real ceremony. A British man walked nervously around during the national anthem of the united kingdom and than shouted “God kill the queen”. In a few other cases people camouflaged their behavior, when they saw that they were being observed.
The Dutch national anthem raised the most questions. People asked about our intentions, made jokes and looked worried or angry. We got the most negative responses on the German anthem. People shook their heads, gave us angry expressions and made remarks like: “ I’m not paying you for playing the German national anthem”. The Indonesian, Moroccan and Turkish anthems were the most appreciated because of their melodies. We didn’t saw anybody who recognized the anthem of the Netherlands Antilles. The Chinese and Indonesian anthems proved to be the most successful songs in commercial terms, they raised the most money. People liked these songs, probably because of their energetic march rhythms and happy melodies.