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Carnival F.A.Q., or: How to Make Sense of Oeteldonk

For many people not native to 's-Hertogenbosch, Oeteldonk and Carnival are a magical time of year. Magical, but mostly confusing. To make sense of the play of carnival, we've answered some of the frequently asked questions! Oeteldonkers take pride in their strict moral and cultural code, straying from this code might result in being shunned.... Continue Reading →

The History of Oeteldonk

Every year the city Den Bosch transforms into the village Oeteldonk. The inhabitants celebrate a centuries-old festival, best known as Carnival. A tradition that many outsiders find weird, special or incomprehensible. Although the history of Oeteldonk only exists since 1882, the carnival has a much longer history that goes back to the Middle Ages. Burgundian carnival vs. Rhinelandic carnival... Continue Reading →

Our Lady the Sweet Mother

Making new friends in the Netherlands can be quite a challenge. And with a challenge I mean it can be quite a challenge to get introduced to Dutch people without laughing. How do you respond when someone introduces themself als Joke (short for Johanna), Freek or Fried (both short for Frederik), Taco (Germanic for people) Cocks (short for Cornelia) Fokje/Fokke (also Germanic derived from... Continue Reading →

The Blessed Bossche Bol

In a country where at least 50% of the population identifies with atheism, few things remain sacred. Ever since the 1960's, when the Netherlands became a welfare state, fewer and fewer people attended churches and prayed to a higher power. In 2015, two big churches in Little Rome closed the doors to their flock. There... Continue Reading →

Silly Street Names

As an international, practicing Dutch can be quite troublesome. When you've finally mastered pronouncing all the weird vowel combinations, such as au, ei and ooi, it's impossible to find a Dutchy to practice with, as all speak English to at least some degree, and like speaking the language. What makes it even more problematic, is that... Continue Reading →

Where’s the rest of Brabant?

In 2013, a Dutch political party called D66 submitted a plan to alter the name of the province of Noord-Brabant. The social liberals believed that after almost two hunderd years of separation, it was time to change the name from Noord-Brabant (North Brabant), to Brabant. Around 52% of the people identified as Brabander, instead of... Continue Reading →

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