Cultural Integration

We frequently watch BBC’s program called Coast, which explores Great Britain’s coastlines, along with those of other nearby countries. One episode focused on the Netherlands, but I missed that episode when it first aired and only recently tracked it down. Watching it this afternoon, I realized that although my Dutch is still limited, my cultural integration has definitely expanded.

The program featured a short piece on fierljeppen, which I’ve written about before. I recognized it immediately, and soon realized that I even recognized one of the athletes! Sure enough, I looked through my photos from the event we went to last year and found the guy in the video, Jaco van Groot. How’s that for integration! Not only did I immediately know what sport they were doing, but I even recognized the athlete.
Setting Up

In another segment of the show, there was a Dutchman used as a local guide during a visit to Scheveningen. (They mispronounced it in the voiceover, something which could have gotten you shot during WWII when the name was used by the resistance as a test to prove that the person actually was Dutch and not a Nazi infiltrator.) While at the beachside town, they enjoyed some raw herring. As I watched and listened to the local, I soon realized that I did, in fact, recognize him, as well! His name is Philip Walkate, and I recognized him from his humourous bits about the Dutch inburgeringscurse (integration course).

And, of course, there was the bit about Dutch cuisine. As they commentators discussed the popularity of Indian cuisine in Britain, I knew immediately that they were going to be talking about the popularity of Indonesian cuisine here in the Netherlands. I knew that meant one of two things, saté or the broader rijsttafel. They went with the rijsttafel, a meal that goes well with my love of a selection of lots of smaller dishes.

I was ridiculously thrilled to recognize the athlete and comedian and to realize that I was very familiar with much of the information they provided, although the story about Texel island up north during WWII was something new and fascinating. My cultural integration is moving right along.

Glam Utrecht


I came across this video today and wanted to share it. It’s a lovely short promotional film highlighting the beauty, charm, and culture of the city. It all looks so glam! I also thought it might be nice for people to see the city in motion, in a sense, if you haven’t been here before and only know my photos. Some of it might even be familiar now!

Cultural Monday

We have a monthly Cultural Sunday event here in Utrecht that changes themes each month. This month, the theme is dance. This month, the event is also taking place on a Monday, instead of Sunday. Must be due to the Pinksterdag holidays. If you like to dance, you really may want to come to town tomorrow if possible. At 17:00, there’s going to be a big group dance at the Domplein, with participants — and that can be anyone — doing a choreographed dance. It’s kind of a fun idea. There’s even an instructional video so you can (try to) learn the choreography. I think I may try to talk G into going over with me tomorrow. I’m awful at learning choreography, but I still think this could be a fun thing to see!