Category archives for: Society

Place: De Haar Castle

Photo: Albert Dros

  De Haar Castle (Kasteel de Haar) in the province of Utrecht is ‘undutch’ in its extreme opulence. Until 2000, the castle was owned by the baronial Van Zuylen van Nijevelt de Haar family. It had been owned by ancestors of these last aristocratic owners of the vast property since at least the late 14th […]

Interview: Ambassador Henne Schuwer

Henne Schuwer (Photo: Stephen Voss)

    His Excellency Henne Schuwer, the newly appointed Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands to the USA, pleads for more involvement of the Dutch, even if it’s just responding to the embassy’s Facebook page. “Let’s start a dialogue,” he said enthusiastically. We met at the modern Dutch Embassy in Washington, DC. You lived […]

Place: Amsterdam’s EYE Film Museum

Photo: Anastasia Malkin

Until very recently, after arriving at Amsterdam’s Central Station, one would always exit on the south side, the side facing the city. The north exit offered nothing more than a busy road, a wide river, the IJ with a view of derelict shipyards, and a single high rise building, Royal Dutch Shell’s research laboratory. The […]

Feature: The Final Year of the War through the eyes of two Dutch women

Tiny's ID-Card, the hated 'persoonsbewijs'.

Seventy years ago World War II entered its final phase. We will follow events in The Netherlands during those last grueling months through the eyes of two Dutch sisters, my grandmother Clasina and great-aunt Tiny Wisman, whose wartime diaries I recently discovered. They had been separated by the front after Operation Market Garden started on […]

News: Successful opening of Frisian play in Ontario


Pier21’s play Ja-Mei-My, which loosely translates to ‘Yeah, it’s me’ is a portrayal of the relationships between family members of different generations. Lighthearted, but not without several deeply moving emotional moments, the play centers around late middle-aged Klaasje and her ninety-six year old mother, who lives in a retirement home. Her mother phones Klaasje at […]

News: Pier 21 brings Ja-Mei-My to Canada


After successfully debuting De Emigrant (2013) internationally, Pier21 is proud to present JA-MEI-MY (YES-IT’S-ME) in Ontario, Canada this autumn. Acting couple, Klaasje Postma (Beppe Tryntsje, with Tryater, Canada, 2006) and Freark Smink (De Emigrant, with Pier21, Canada, 2013) will play all the roles. In Friesland, JA-MEI-MY had seventy successful sold-out performances reaching fifteen thousand visitors. […]

Interview: Expat rights activist Eelco Keij


Eelco Keij’s political career was catapulted after he took the initiative to organize a meeting in New York to discuss the efforts of the Dutch government to end dual nationality. After he became a candidate for the centralist D66 party, he presented himself as “the international candidate”. Keij, who didn’t get elected, recently published his […]

Column: The mass trek south


A word to the wise: if you’re planning a trip to The Netherlands this summer, avoid driving anywhere at any time on July 5th, July 12th and July 19th. Let me explain… Dutch elementary school children get a six-week summer break. The Dutch authorities are extremely strict in enforcing the laws on compulsory education, and […]

Place: Staphorst


Staphorst is a town with a strong sense of tradition. It is one of the few places in The Netherlands where people still wear traditional costume (klederdracht) as part of everyday life. Whereas in tourist towns such as Volendam and Marken the historic get-up is only donned to please the visitor, in Staphorst it is […]

Feature: Enduring Gratitude

The Netherlands American Cemetary and Memorial at Margraten (Photo: Poldi Rijke)

At The Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial, nestled within the picturesque town of Margraten, 8,301 soldiers rest peacefully in their graves. Each played a role in liberating Dutch citizens from Nazi occupation during World War II and paid the ultimate price. Every year, their graves are visited and honored by hundreds of thousands of people. […]