Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nederlands nut / Profitable Dutchness

This is maybe not the most fitting image for the subject.
But I thought that this was a good chance to draw myself sitting on a lion.
In an other post I will tell you more about how I made this picture.

Tijdens de kerstviering hier op Grimerud hadden we het zo rond mijn tafel over culturele identiteit. Toen ze mij vroegen of ik me Nederlands of Noors voelde, moest ik even nadenken. In Nederland voel ik me meer Noors dan de Nederlanders, en in Noorwegen voel ik me meer Nederlands dan de Noren. Dit gevoel is sterker in Noorwegen, ik voel me meer een buitenstaander in de Noorse samenleving als de Nederlandse samenleving. Noorwegen is "thuis" voor mij, maar ik ben ook thuis in Nederland.

Mijn rijbewijs is Noors, maar mij paspoort is Nederlands (van de Ambassade in Oslo), ik weet eigenlijk niet of ik een Noors paspoort kan krijgen.
Na vijf jaar loopt dit jaar mijn verblijfsvergunning af, dus moest ik hier een oplossing voor vinden. Afgelopen maandag had ik on-line een permanente verblijfsvergunning aangevraagd, en toen ik de donderdag op het politiebureau was, heb ik het gelijk mee gekregen. Lekker snel en ook nog eens gratis (daar houden Nederlanders van)

Door de jaren ben ik een paar van mijn Nederlandse vooroordelen kwijt geworden, en helemaal Noorse zal ik nooit worden. Veel van de Noren hier zeggen dat ik een Noor geworden ben, maar dan ben ik beleefd met ze oneens en vertel dat ik graag Nederlander wil blijven.
Ik ben er zeker van dat mijn Nederlandsheid tot groot nut zal zijn in Noorwegen.

At the Christmas-party here at YWAM Grimerud, the people at my table were talking about cultural identity, and which nationality each felt closest to. Then they asked me wether I felt I was Dutch or Norwegian. I had to think a little bit before I could answer this.

I remember I said something like: "When I am in the Netherlands, I feel more norwegian then the Dutch, and when I am in Norway, I feel more dutch than the Norwegians." The feeling is strongest when I am in Norway. I would feel more "out of place" in Norwegian society then back in Dutch society, even after I have been in Norway now for six years. So, I would say I feel I am mostly Dutch.

My drivers-licence is Norwegian, but my passport is Dutch (from the ambassey in Oslo). I am not sure if I could get a Norwegian pass.
My residency-permit had ran out after five years and I had to go fix that. Last monday I applied on-line for permanent right of residency, and I got it right away at the desk on the Hamar police-station on thursday.
Over the years I have lost some of my Dutch biases, and I will never be fully norwegian.
Sure, I hear many Norwegians say that I have become a Norwegian. But then I politely disagree and say that I have the intention to be Dutch.
I am sure that my dutchness will be of value here at my work in Norway.

Here is a selection of what is written about the Dutch people on Wikipedia:
  • The people tend to view themselves as modest, tolerant, independent and self-reliant. They value education, tolerance, hard work, ambition and ability. 
  • The Dutch have an aversion to the nonessential. Accumulating money is fine, but spending money is considered something of a vice and associated by some people with being a show-off. A high style is considered wasteful and suspect with most people.
  • The Dutch are proud of their cultural heritage, rich history in art and music and involvement in international affairs.
  • Dutch manners are frank and can be described as a no-nonsense attitude, informality combined with adherence to basic etiquette. This might be perceived as impersonal by some other cultures but is the norm in Dutch culture. As always, manners differ between groups.
  • Asking about basic rules will not be considered impolite.

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