Q&A with multitalented Roland Parijs - translator, calligrapher, painting artist and passionate dancer

"Literature allows you to see through the eyes of others, feel, enjoy or suffer like they do. It enables you to reactivate your own problems. Music binds people without saying a word. Every time I dance man and woman dance with me, and during the dance we have a strong connection. I see their eyes lit up. It is the most wonderful thing!"

Roland Parijs: Let The Good Times Roll

Multitalented Roland Parijs loves to dance and speaks/writes many languages, also is an experienced system administrator with a history of working in the education sector. Proficient in MS Window Server, Programming, Research, Windows 7, System Management and Active Directory. He’s also an Arabic and Chinese translator and calligrapher. Graphic designer, painting artist and passionate dancer (Lindy Hop, Swing, Rock and Roll dance). "In my view a life well lived is a life in which you can make other people happy. I love to see people smiling when I am dancing, it makes me very happy."         (Photo: Roland Parijs)

Roland Parijs from The Hague (The Netherlands) was an unknown dance lover until few weeks, but his dance skills have now spread all over the world. He starred in a video with a street musician, which was shot in the center of The Hague. Roland says: "The music of today, I don't call it music, is awful. Sometimes they play a good tune but then they put the same beat underneath it. Music today is cut and paste work, no feeling no hearth!" It is a special sight: an elderly man - with a hat on, walking stick in hand - who goes completely wild to the music of a busker. The connection between Dutch Roland Parijs and the Spanish street musician Borja Catanesi feels intimate. It is not surprising that Parijs showed such good dancing skills in the street. Borja says: "This man is pure style. Spontaneous moment recorded in the streets of The Hague, The Netherlands. I got finally in touch with the dancer! His name is Roland Parijs and he has such a great spirit! He was missing these days some live music, since he’s very used to dance. Luckily we meet and the magic happened!" Dance has played a major role all his life. Roland's life passion is a great inspiration to all of us, like a philosopher who gives teachings with his way of life.

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the music and literature influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

I love to learn languages. I have studied Arabic and Chinese, mainly because I am very interested in their scripts and calligraphy. Furthermore, I love Arabic and old Chinese music. Music, especially jazz and swing music has influenced my life since I was young. I remember that my mother and I bought a tape recorder to tape the music from the radio program "toppers van toen" (hits from the past). I imagined my self-playing an instrument and danced on the music. I have traveled to Egypt, Morocco, France, China and the Philippines.

How does music affect your mood and inspiration? What touched (emotionally) you from Borja Catanesi's music on Hague's street?

If I hear music, rhythmic music, I simply have to move, and if I hear jazz or swing, I immediately am transported back to the swing era, it makes me extremely happy and forget my sorrows. It can bring tears to my eyes! The music from Borja Catanesi was wonderful, it inspired me to dance. His music brought me in a trance! Fantastic musician hope to meet him again soon!

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss the romance of the music of the past. Back then you could close your eyes and imagine your self-dancing with your loved one at the beach watching the sunset.

The music of today, I don't call it music, is awful. Sometimes they play a good tune but then they put the same beat underneath it. Music today is cut and paste work, no feeling no hearth!

"I love to learn languages. I have studied Arabic and Chinese, mainly because I am very interested in their scripts and calligraphy. Furthermore, I love Arabic and old Chinese music. Music, especially jazz and swing music has influenced my life since I was young. I remember that my mother and I bought a tape recorder to tape the music from the radio program "toppers van toen" (hits from the past). I imagined my self-playing an instrument  and danced on the music. I have traveled to Egypt, Morocco, France, China and the Philippines." (Roland Parijs / Photo by Huub Van Rheenen)

What characterize your life's philosophy? What do you think is key to a life well lived?

Strange as it might seem, I generally am pessimistic, especially in the past. Music especially swing, takes me out of this heavy mood. But the last four years when I started dancing again, I have changed. From introvert to extravert. In my view a life well lived is a life in which you can make other people happy. I love to see people smiling when I am dancing, it makes me very happy.

What do you think the major changes will be in near or far future of the world? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

In the beginning I was terrified of the coronavirus, but now my main fear is that we never go back to normal, that social dancing and big events never comes back.

To overcome this fear I keep on dancing, at home or in de street. My advice is dance, because music and dance are the best medicine for your mental and physical health.  It also keeps up your intersystem!

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in life and travels?

Live and let live. Life is precious and short, and should be lived through the fullest. Be happy and enjoy even in hard times!

What is the impact of music on the literature, and what is the relationship between music on the socio-cultural implications?                              (Photo: Roland Parijs)

Literature allows you to see through the eyes of others, feel, enjoy or suffer like they do. It enables you to reactivate your own problems.

Music binds people without saying a word. Every time I dance man and woman dance with me, and during the dance we have a strong connection. I see their eyes lit up. It is the most wonderful thing!

"Strange as it might seem, I generally am pessimistic, especially in the past. Music especially swing, takes me out of this heavy mood. But the last four years when I started dancing again, I have changed. From introvert to extravert. In my view a life well lived is a life in which you can make other people happy. I love to see people smiling when I am dancing, it makes me very happy."

Where would you really want to go with time machine and what memorabilia (albums, books, etc.) would you like to put in?

The roaring twenties and the swing era!

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