Erik de Kuijper from Breukelen has collected some 600 bibles of all kinds and has decided to start a museum. However, his idea of a starting a museum is just come on over and check them out, although you’ll have to find out where he lives.
De Kuijper apparently has bibles that are very tiny, written in Braille and really old ones. He explained that his wife bought a stack of bibles from the charity shop one day and that’s how he started his collection.
The photo above is my Metal Bible, handed out at the entrance of the Into The Grave metal festival in a few years’ back.
The longest street name is Ir. Mr. Dr. van Waterschoot van der Grachtstraat in Heerlen, which deserves an English explanation. The Dutch have a title for engineers, ‘Ir.’, Mr. is for ‘Mister’ and ‘Dr.’ is for Doctor and yes, you can compound them. ‘Ir.’ is fading because having taking over the Bachelor’s-Master’s system from the English-speaking world in recent history means dropping titles that are not used in English.
And then there’s more modern day funny names like Mickey Mousestraat in Almere or Eendekotsweg (‘Duck Vomit Street’), Poepershoek (‘Shitters’ Corner’) and Windgat (‘Wind Hole’) in other places, to name a few.
Dings tells the story of a street in Schiedam named after a mayor who got caught doing something wrong, and then you’re stuck with a controversial street name that you have to wait 10 years to change. He also tells about how older cities like Delft deserve more classic names than a relatively new city like Almere. The book is called ‘Over straatnamen met name’ for the Dutch fans.
According to Wikipedia the melody of the Dutch national anthem, the ‘Wilhelmus’ (‘the William’) was borrowed from a well known Roman Catholic French song titled “Autre chanson de la ville de Chartres assiégée par le prince de Condé” (YouTube song), which made fun of the failed Siege of Chartres in 1568 by the Huguenot Prince de Condé during the French Wars of Religion. The Dutch Protestants basically took over an anti-Protestant song, slowed it down like pros, and adapted it for their own Protestant agenda. And stealing songs back then was all very rap battle like and cool.
However, nobody knows for certain who wrote it, but now there’s a computer trying to figure it out by analysing a huge body of text. So far Petrus Datheen (1531-1588) is the frontrunner and while we’re at it, it has yet to be determined where, when and why the anthem was written. The oldest version of the anthem was written in German in 1573 and the oldest surviving Dutch version is 1576.
Here’s a lovely rendition of the modern-day Wilhelmus with subtitles. The explanation in the video’s comments lets you find out even more about other unanswered questions surrounding the Dutch national anthem.
Michiel van Eyck, owner of the Totalitarian Art Gallery in Amsterdam has won his case against the Dutch Jewish Federation about selling a signed copy of Adolf Hitler’s memoirs, ‘Mein Kampf’.
According to the Supreme Court, Van Eyck was selling the book as a historical item and not to spread hate. While the sale of Mein Kampf is banned in the Netherlands under anti-discrimination laws, it can easily be found online and in libraries, making the ban absurd and outdated.
There I was talking to a British guy about the snow we’re having in Amsterdam and he told me a story about having to call up the Republic of Catan for work and how nice they were. I thought he said ‘Qatar’, but no, he meant Catan.
Nope, nothing to do with most of your Google searches that will tell you about a board game. According to my digging, the Kingdom of Catan is the smallest nation in the world to claim full sovereign independence.
The Republic of Catan is a micronation, founded on March 10, 1999 by James Klaassen-White who is also King James Klaassen-White I who speaks English, French, Dutch and Spanish. I’m thinking one of his parents is Dutch. My British guy told me their first ever King a woman and that they always have a King regardless of gender, which I can’t confirm, but that’s pretty cool. Their ‘Patron Saint’ is King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, the area claimed is 3 square kilometres with a population of 14 in the UK close to Leeds.
And besides finding very little information and constantly reading ‘its’ as ‘it’s’ in at least three websites about Catan, I’m done searching. Oh, and Foreign & Kingdom Minister Booner announced that the Catan Government will put aside €48,000 to assist the new Dutch Government fund for International Groups who support abortions, so they have some money apparently.
A charity shop in Naarden may have actually scored an authentic painting by Piet Mondriaan, which could be worth thousands of euro.
Right after laying eyes on it, the employee of the shop thought it could be real and placed it in a special ‘treasure’ room for safe keeping. He called up a Dutch auctioneer who confirmed that it could indeed be the real deal.
According to the auctioneer, it looks like other works Mondriaan produced around 1900, but of course, its authenticity will need to be verified and that normally takes quite some time.
If the charity shop were to make money off selling the painting, they could hire more people who need jobs and have difficulties finding one, which is their purpose. The painting is currently worth 100 to 200 euro, but they say it would be nice if they could sell it for 10,000 euro.
(Link: nhnieuws, Photo of another recently found Mondriaan painting, ‘Hooimijt achter een rij bomen’ (‘Hay stack behind a row of trees’) by Dolf van Omme)
A Dutch publisher is peddling a schoolbook aimed at 10-year-olds that asks them to judge if someone is a native or non-native Dutch person. It’s true that Statistics Netherlands claims that anyone who has one or both parents born abroad is a non-native, even if they have the Dutch nationality. In other words, you’ll never be part of the club, so get used to it young.
The statements include phrases such as ‘Fatima prefers to listen to Dutch songs’, ‘Michael has rasta hair’ and ‘Jefte has a great sense of rhythm’. The publisher says the aim is to make it clear to children that the words ‘allochtoon’ (‘non-native’) and ‘autochtoon’ (‘native’) relate to the place where people were born, based on the Van Dale junior dictionary, which by the way is wrong. A child can be born in The Netherlands of foreign parents, making them an ‘allochtoon’ according to the definition. The word ‘allochtoon’ is mostly used in a pejorative way as a synonym of all kinds of unkind words for non white people. For example, I’m an ‘allochtoon’, but if I say that I am, I get a round of laughs and that it doesn’t count. Try it if you’re in a position to do so, see what happens and report back to us.
The word ‘allochtoon’ is currently being phased out by the government and the media because it stigmatises people, a step in the right direction. Sadly, the educational publisher didn’t get that memo since even reading the definition of a word in a children’s dictionary is beyond their reading skills.
Maybe teaching children about how to avoid racism and discrimination altogether would be a much more useful exercise.
A film of the only known footage of Frisian Jewish life from before the Holocaust is currently doing the rounds, and “comes amid a wave of popular interest in the Holocaust, including in films and series with record ratings and in the construction of monuments – most recently with the opening last year of the National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam.”
This unique black-and-white, silent document from 1939 shows the wedding of a Frisian Jewish couple who escaped the genocide, and was shown on Frisian public broadcaster, Omrop Fryslân. In late January the film was placed on YouTube by the Frisian Film Archive. The film reel was discovered by the couple’s children in their late mother’s suitcase in 2008, but they needed all those years to process its content.
Just a year after filming, the people in the movie would come under the Nazi occupation that decimated the Frisian Jewish community, along with 75 percent of Dutch Jews — the highest death rate in occupied Western Europe.
The Dutch government’s policy of storing information about its citizens enabled the Nazis to efficiently murder as many Jews as possible. Against all odds, this couple survived. Watch images of the wedding of Barend Boers of Amsterdam and Mimi Dwinger from Leeuwarden, Friesland.
For the centennial of Dutch art movement De Stijl of which Piet Mondriaan (or Mondrian) was a member of, the city of The Hague has had city hall done up as a Mondriaan painting, with characteristic blue, red and yellow squares and bold black lines.
The project was made using large, adhesive, monochrome rectangles, applied one by one by Rotterdam-based design firm Studio Vollaerszwart, making the building look like a De Stijl-type artwork. Other buildings in The Hague will follow suit, include pontoons in the Hofvijver, a pond in the city the centre, and the Mauritshuis museum.
Nothing divides the Dutch like carnival. This year’s harvest is more about drinking and not thinking, but here are two pre-screened videos for your cringeworthy enjoyment, and a classic that I like to sing along with.
1. Watch ‘Mexicans’ build a wall, with English subtitles in ‘Trumpet’ (Grab ‘m By The Pussy)’ by the Bucket Boys ft. DJ Maurice. This hopefully needs no explanation.
2. Vieze Jack with ‘Brandweerman Jack’ (‘Fireman Jack’) is funny enough to actually watch because he’s so over the top. This time all the dirty lyrics are about being on fire and long nozzles while ripping off disco hit Ma Baker by Boney M.
3. ‘Zachte G harde L’ (Soft G Hard L) by Joss van Oss. The Dutch of the South speak with a less guttural G and considered soft, while the L refers to his dick, as the Dutch word is ‘lul’. Put the rest together yourselves.