Stranger in your own country: Maastricht

By

carnival

It’s not carnival or ‘Alaaf!’ yet, but I just came back from a smashing night of DJing at the 125 jubileum of Maastricht’s Bonnefanten Museum and felt like writing about Maastricht. Just imagine a party in four huge rooms with some 700 guests accompanied by food, drinks, a live band, musicians and DJs, and the entire thing having to be cleaned up in time for Sunday’s museum opening.

Yes, Maastricht that hidden jewel of a fun-loving yet classy city way down in Limburg near the German and Belgian borders is very different than the rest of the country culturally and linguistically, the two being linked and all. For Jasmijn, a Dutch student from Gelderland who must get around in a wheelchair, she writes as if she had ‘immigrated’ to Maastricht for her studies.

Jasmijn likes the ‘relaxed attitude’ (translation: more ‘Latin’ like) of Limburgers, as here in Amsterdam you have to make an appointment with most people just to grab a beer and the fact that they generally speak of things ‘indirectly’ (translation: more politely) rather than blurt things out like they do here in the Randstad (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague area).

Read about Jasmijn’s cultural experience in her own country.

(Link: Crossroadsmag.eu, Photo: a Maastricht carnival prince, 2008)

5 Comments »

  1. I have visited Maastricht, the Randstad area, Volendam and Den Helder but as a traveler without Dutch language skills, I really wasn’t in a position to appreciate the finer differences in social culture. As a result, ‘d love to heat impressions from readers who have experience to share on this topic.

    Comment by Neil — November 2, 2009 @ 6:22 pm

  2. I’ll always love the, er, Luthern/Calvinist directness. No point in bandying pleasantries!

    Comment by Darth Paul — November 2, 2009 @ 9:23 pm

  3. @Neil The Netherlands has different languages and dialects that are often frowned upon or made fun of by the non-speakers of the language/dialect.

    In short, there’s a lack of tolerance because the ‘minorities’ could just speak Dutch and ‘be normal’, which of course leaves the regular Dutch speaker out of the loop.

    Comment by Orangemaster — November 3, 2009 @ 11:03 am

  4. @Orangemaster Thanks. I love the Internet and 24 Oranges.

    Comment by Neil — November 3, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

  5. […] DJ TiĆ«sto and Mentos come from). Maastricht is the ‘jewel of the south’ where people celebrate carnival and speak their own dialect. Den Bosch is just as cute as a button and I enjoy visiting it. As for […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » Which city will win as the Most Hospitable? — September 28, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.