It’s a matter of playing the cultural card at the right time


The once very popular Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party has been losing a lot of ground particularly in provinces such as Limburg, to make a long story short. Interestingly, many prominent politicians such as Maxime Verhagen (right), currently Deputy Prime Minister (and first Dutch politician to Twitter) comes from Limburg, speaks dialect, especially as of late when asked to because it’s election time for the Dutch Senate.

Picture your favourite American or British band yelling ‘we love [fill in city or country of your choice]’ to woo the audience. And it works. In this case, Maxime loses points for not being able to fill in the blanks of a hugely popular song by Rowwen Hèze, Limburg’s number one ‘export’ who play American TexMex style music mainly in Limburgs dialect and have been around for some 20 years.

Presentator Twan Huys also from Limburg decided to see if Maxime wasn’t just ‘talking nonsense’ and made him switch to Maastricht dialect. At least he was able to fill that in. You could hear the sound of the students’ hearts strings twanging when ‘one of their own’ spoke their language.

The chorus of the song ‘Kwestie van Geduld’ (‘A Matter of Patience’) is in ‘standard’ Dutch on purpose.

” ‘t Is een kwestie van geduld,
rustig wachten op de dag,
dat heel Holland Limburgs lult,
dat heel Holland Limburgs lult.”

(’tis a matter of patience, waiting quietly for the day,
that all of Holland ‘yaps’ in Limburgs,
that all of Holland ‘yaps’ in Limburgs.)

The verb ‘lullen’ means ‘to bullshit’ or ‘talk nonsense’, but is much more neutral, so I went with ‘yapping’.

Holland is a large part of the Netherlands, South Holland and North Holland, a differentiation made by Limburgers to point out their cultural differences, especially their use of dialects in daily life instead of the ‘standard’ Dutch language.

No one give me a lesson on all of this, I’ve been hearing it for 12 years from my Limburg co-blogger.


1 Comment »

  1. Marco says:

    One addition regarding Rowwen Hèze: the band are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. To mark the occassion they have released a nice looking compilation album:

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