The easiest way to explain this to Americans that I have come up with is, that it’s as if all the islands of the State of Hawaii decided that they should all be their own state, the state of Oahu, of Maui, etc.
This is from an article in the BBC Caribean:
“A series of negotiations, with Holland in the role of part partner/part arbiter, resulted in an agreement in which Curacao and St Maarten will become ‘separate countries’ with direct ties to Holland.
The three smaller islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, (the BES islands) will be incorporated administratively into existing Dutch provinces in Holland.” (from 10-10-10: Why It Matters)
Much to my surprise, no one can find a t-shirt commemorating this big day, so with my new found graphic design swagger, I decided to design my own. Get yours here!