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Finding one Dutch voice for Aotearoa


Finding one Dutch voice for Aotearoa

It’s only a few days before well-settled and fresh immigrants from the Netherlands, young and old, will gather in Hamilton to celebrate their Dutch identity. “Het Festijn” is two days of fun in the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion, organised by the NZ Netherlands Society Waikato. An important component is a one-day meeting held all of Saturday 25 October with the theme “Samen staan we sterk”, meaning together we are stronger.

This meeting is organised with a view of discussing the “hoe” (how) and “wie” (who) of Dutch community development and is therefore called “Onze HoeWie”, which translates into “our hui”. The integration into local Dutch language use, of the well-know Maori word for a gathering, signals very well the purpose of the day.

At present there is no one organisation in New Zealand that can speak on behalf of all the Dutch Kiwis. Onze HoeWie on Labour Saturday 25 October wants to change that, and possibly establish a Dutch Council here. The ultimate aim is to create a stronger community of Netherlanders throughout the country, and make some decisions on what the future should look like for the Dutch in Aotearoa.

Discussion topics will range from the characteristics of former and present immigrants from the Netherlands and promoting the Dutch language, through the establishment of a national Dutch museum or cultural centre, to looking after the elderly. Attendance to Het Festijn is free, Onze HoeWie ($40 registration fee) opens at 10:30 am.

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