Tuesday, August 17, 2010

(Day 229) A foot on two continents

You may have heard a few sayings about the Dutch, some of which are self-deprecating - "wooden shoes, wooden head, would'n listen!" which describes their at times stubborn nature, and the other side of the coin - "if you're not Dutch, you're not much" which can be ascribed to their national pride. Well, I am, or was, or maybe to some extent still am, one of them.

I was born in Holland and emigrated to Canada at the age of 6 with my family. Certainly the Dutch, as many European immigrants did, assimilated quickly into North American life and culture. However, like many immigrants, there were always little ties back to 'the old country' as it quickly became known. Some of these were related to food (you wouldn't believe some of the things the Dutch put on their bread!), or customs, language, or expressions. But for the most part, you'd be hard-pressed to pick a Dutch immigrant out of a crowd of Canadians (until the World Cup is underway perhaps).

While my feet are firmly planted on this side of the big pond, I've learned a lot about, and take pride in, my heritage. Today's photo is of a little reminder, that we have hanging by the front porch, of that heritage. Known as 'klompen', I can still recall wearing them as a young lad in Holland - they weren't fancy like these though.

(70-200mm  f11  1/40 sec  ISO200)

24 comments:

darlin said...

Rick are these comfortable? I would assume so if they are worn. It's awesome that you stay connected with your heritage, now I'm curious about what the Dutch put on their bread! :-)

Love the photo!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Beautiful shoes,Certainly far more attractive than the usual sneaker.
Ruth

Rick said...

@darlin - yes, actually they're quite comfortable provided they're properly fitted. I recall getting new ones as a child - I tried them on and told the shoe-maker where they were tight or hurt and he took out a carving knife and made adjustments till they fit very nicely ! I actually have a pair that I use in the garden when it's muddy out - they work very well!

As for stuff on bread - lots of stuff that 'normal' people put on cakes e.g. chocolate sprinkles for starters. You should try some real Dutch licorice - if you have any Dutch friends, ask them for 'drop' - rhymes with the 'oo' in 'rook'. Let me know how you make out!

Happy Wednesday.

Rick said...

@Ruth's Photo Blog - thank you Ruth, and they're very practical too 'cause the Dutch if anything are practical!

Carolyn Ford said...

So cute, Rick! I remember buying wooden shoes so long ago when I visited Holland. My son-in-law is part Dutch. His father speaks the language fluently. I love hearing it...

Biana said...

Ha!! Jep, Dutch people put some weird stuff/combinations on their bread :)
Chocolate sprinkles with peanut butter, Cheese with sambal (mashed pepper), in the grocery store you can even find sambal-cheese, where the pepper is already in the cheese. I haven't seen that anywhere else yet :)

"If you're not dutch you're not much" I didn't know that one! haha, you're klling me here Rick!!

Costea Andrea Mihai said...

and I is possible to emigrate to Canada :) some tips?

Katherine said...

It lovely that you keep a visual memory of your heritage where you'll see it every day. I was born here in Australia but my husband is Chilean and we have a few visual memories hanging around our place too.... not to mention lots of latino music!!

marty said...

des petits sabots en bois pour aller
danser Rick ?? On ne peut jamais vraiment
oublier ses racines et c'est une grande
richesse ! j'ai aussi une double nationalité
mais je suis restée européenne lol !
bisous à toi

CarreraCaballo said...

I did not know that you are Dutch, intersting information - I have never been to The Netherlands, YET :-)

Integration in a new culture is the Alpha, but we should never forget who we are, where we came from or our customs/heritage!
The Omega is never to force ourselves on the others - That is what catalyzes conflicts and prejiduce!

My father always taught me this: "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!" & "Live and Let Live!"

Greetz,

Joseph

Roberto M. Alves said...

Very interesting post. Beautiful shoes.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Greetings from Roberto

imac said...

They are handy to grow Dutch bulbs in.lol.
Great post Rick.

Scott said...

I love the Dutch. I think they are some of the greatest people in the world. I have visited Holland a few times and always enjoyed it immensely. I think the dutch, whether in Holland or anywhere else should be very proud of their heritage.

Rick said...

@Carolyn Ford - we brought some back when we visited a couple of years ago (I use them when the gardens are muddy). We also have a couple of decorative pairs. You can give your son-in-law's father 'de groeten' from me ;-)

Rick said...

@Biana - that cheese and sambal concoction must have been invented after we left - I hadn't heard of that one either! But there's lots of other ones too - our kids' friends always look at us like we're a bit strange when they see our sandwiches, not to mention eating eggs for supper.

Ik dacht dat je die uitdrukking wel wist - nou ja, gebruik het maar ;-)

Fijne woensdag!

Rick said...

@Costea Andrea Mihai - ha ha, I think you need to get on a 'refugee' ship to emigrate now.

Rick said...

@Katherine - thank you Katherine. Latino - that explains some of your 'hot' posts! :-)

Thanks for stopping by Katherine - hope your Thursday is going well!

Rick said...

@marty - LOL marty! No - not for dancing - they're fixed to the pillar with nails ! I think it's good to stay in touch with your roots too.

Bises marty !

Rick said...

@CarreraCaballo - and you live so close by Joseph !

Good advice from your father - I would agree. You can come and live in the house and share in everything but please don't tell the earlier tenants what to do and how to do it!

Rick said...

@Roberto M. Alves - thank you Roberto. And thank you for dropping by here too!

Rick said...

@imac - perhaps I can try some tulips in there next spring! ;-)

Rick said...

@Scott - thanks Scott; they are a very hard-working and industrious people - they have to be or they'd be flooded out of their country!

MedaM said...

We, too, say „Klompe“for this type of footwear, (but without „n“as you surely noticed). I now know why and where the name came from. :-))
Precious memories, beautiful post!

Rick said...

@MedaM - the 'en' makes it plural - one shoe is a 'klomp'; interesting to hear that you use the same word! Thank you Meda!