Carnival song launched to combat sexual harassment

Photo credit: Studio040

A new Carnival song entitled ‘Ben je oké?’ (‘Are you okay?’) has been launched by Rutgers, a sexual health organisation.

The ‘Are you okay?’ campaign launched in 2018. It focused primarily on music venues, nightclubs and festivals. Its aim was to raise awareness of the issue of sexual harassment at concerts and festivals. This year, organisers decided to also talk about cases of sexual harassment that happen during Carnival.

Ymke Kelders

When it was announced that the ‘Are you okay?’ campaign would focus on Carnival this year, Ymke Kelders, a Rutgers employee from Best, came up with the idea of writing a Carnival song. ‘I am from Brabant and I celebrate Carnival every year. I thought it would be a great idea to combine my work with the party,’ she says.

Ymke and her colleague, Simon Timmerman, spent two hours writing the song. ‘We just wanted to experiment and see how far we could go. Luckily a lot of words rhyme with “okay”,’ she continues.


Explaining the aim of the song, Ymke says, ‘it is primarily intended to make people take care of each other a little more’. She hopes that if people see someone in an uncomfortable situation in a party venue, they will actually ask ‘are you okay?’. ‘We hope that Carnival lovers will like the song. In this way, people will be reminded of our message when they sing along with the song without even realising it.’

Ymke had already made her plans for Carnival, but now she realises that she may be invited to perform her own song during the festivities. ‘Even though I have no experience with it, it would be fantastic to sing this song on stage,’ she says.


Source: Omroep Brabant

Translator: Rachael Vickerman

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