It’s a big weekend for business in my home town of Akkrum. Some 90 businesses will be showing off their wares at a local business fair they’ve called Reusachtig85. From the local butcher, baker and motorboat-maker to the local tax advisor, sports club and lowly copywriter/translator (that’s me!). It’s been all go for the organisers over the past few weeks, and now it’s our turn. The exhibitors are setting up their stands and thinking up last minute activities.
And if you’re wondering why it’s called Reusachtig85, well… The explanation starts with the local legend of two giants (giant = reus) digging out a river bed, working determinedly hard. Unfortunately, when ‘Crooked Knilles’ looks back at his work, he sees what a hotch-potch of a trench he’s made with bends and turns in every direction. “Ach, krom,” (“Och, crooked”) he cries out to his fellow giant Meine. But Meine is none too impressed and the two giants part on bad terms, each angry with the other’s work. Local farmers however had heard Knilles’ cry and decided that “Ackkrom” was a good name for a settlement. The river and the lakes it leads too now play a huge part in Akkrum’s well-being. Water sports and the tourists they attract have meant that the settlement has developed into a bustling village full of entrepreneurs. So much so that 85 years ago a group of these business folk set up ‘The United Entrepreneurs of Akkrum and Nes’ (Nes is the village next door). And there are so many entrepreneurs in the villages, covering such a wide range of business that they can be dubbed ginormous (reusachtig), as big as the two giants in the legend. So, that’s why it’s reusachtig85; Akkrum has been ginormously entrepreneurial for 85 years. And by the looks of the business fair, there’s a fair chance things will go on that way for another 85 years.