A Sad Day for Nijntje

I just saw the sad news about Dick Bruna, the creator of Nijntje/Miffy passing away yesterday. Discovering his work was one of the many joys I got out of living in Utrecht. As well as the Nijntje books and related pieces, he also did some great graphic design for other book covers. I picked up some of my favorites when I visited the Dick Bruna Huis (now Nijntje Museum).

I think I have one last Nijntje statue that I never shared. This one seems appropriate today, as it is half Nijntje and half Dick Bruna. It stands in front of the conservatory at Mariaplaats.
It depends on the side, which one you see:
Dick Bruna Nijntje
Dick Bruna Nijntje
Dick Bruna Nijntje
At the base is a short poem dedicated to them both:
Dick Bruna Nijntje

RIP, Dick Bruna. You and your art will be missed.
world peace is possible

5 thoughts on “A Sad Day for Nijntje

  1. I see that in the poem “Een vader en zijn kind” is translated as “A father and his kit”.
    Is this correct english?
    Shouldn’t it be kid instead of kit?

    And RIP Dick Bruna

    • There was actually a big debate over this translation on a Facebook page when the statue was revealed. Some thought it a typo, others argued that it was correct. It turns out that kit is used for a baby rabbit, but more typically by UK English speakers or rabbit enthusiasts, though not all by any means. It wasn’t a term I was familiar with at all, despite growing up with a lot of UK English influences and most people I asked weren’t that familiar with it. In terms of the translation, I do think kid would have been better, as it is understood by a wider section of English speakers (native and non-native) and also matches up better to the Dutch version.

  2. I only knew the word kit in the meaning as given by Urban Dictionery:
    noun, British. Slang for equipment, especially weapons, load bearing gear, etc.
    Make sure your kit’s squared away. We’re on the move in thirty mikes.”

    But I have to admit that my 1977 Webster’s Dictionary gives also the meaning “1 kitten 2 a young or undersized fur-bearing animal”.

    Anyway a furry animal is not the first thing I think of when I see Nijntje.
    And given that the dutch text should be leading I still think that it should be kid and that this was the intention of the translator.
    Probably she/he just thought kid is spelled with a “t”.

    • That was one of the thoughts among those discussing it. Perhaps the Dutch pronunciation of the final “d” as a “t” worked its way in somehow or their dictionary was old, as well. A mystery for the ages! 🙂

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