Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Dutch things in the US


Haring & Paling 2018

We went to the Haring & Paling event at the Dutch Embassy last night, always a nice event. We had a really good time together, enjoying the good food and having a relaxed dinner. The kids loved the sandwiches with Dutch cheese and vlokken and Adrian even had a haring sandwich which he liked a lot.

Nora did all the ordering of our food and drinks for us, which went well, and the kids played with another Dutch girl they met.

We bought vlokken, drop and a package of herring to take home.


Haring & Paling 2016

We went to the Dutch Embassy tonight for a party.

It was a fun evening and we all had a good time. Met several new people.

The main feature on the menu is Dutch herring and eel. I'm not a big fish eater but Sasha likes the herring and Nora and I like the speculaas.


King's Day 2016

Nora and I went to the Dutch school in Bethesda today and we celebrated King's Day there.

The Ambassador of the Netherlands gave a short speech but otherwise this was all about the kids. There was a lot of food and fun games. New this year was a booth by the internal store from the Embassy, they sold Dutch goodies and snacks.

Like in previous years, we arrived early and checked out the books on sale. We have a nice collection at home but this is an ideal way to find new books for now and for later. I picked up a few great beginning reader books ("avi start"), several books to read before bed time and two or three books for when the kids are older, such as Paul Biegel's Sleutelkruid.

Nora did several of the activities. She remember the blikken gooien from last year and she was surprised that she had to stand "so far away" this year. I told her it's because she's 4 now! For the first time she did zakken lopen. She was a little too intimidated to try to jumping castle.

We came home with two full bags of books, some snacks and gifts for the Zane family (vlokken and stroopwafels).



The other day Nora and I went to a Dutch play date, or "speelgroep". We met at Carla's house in Vienna and there were 5 kids and their parents.

It was fun talking Dutch and sharing experiences. Nora played a little bit with the other kids -- there's not a ton of interaction at that age but she had a good time. She ate a whole stroopwafel and tried gevulde speculaas for the first time.


Het succes van tweetalig opvoeden

My mother requested this book from the library in Middenmeer for me, and my father brought it to the States when he was here for a month long visit.

It is a very nicely written book on the current knowledge on dual language children. It refers to modern research but also has a lot of practical examples and ideas. The suggestions are straightforward: be consistent, one parent one language, and make sure there's enough 'supply' of each language for the child.

The book describes that there are often two challenging periods: during the 3th or 4th year when the child realizes for the first times that it's speaking a different language at home then at school, and during puberty. Obviously, the 'problem' during puberty is less significant as by that age it is very unlikely for the child to forget the language.

It's encouraging to read again that children have no trouble at all learning an extra language or two, provided that the encouragement and language supply is there. Sometimes I worry a little about Nora -- will she have a hard time starting school because she doesn't know English yet? -- but the book reinforces that kids will have no problem quickly learning the main language, and that in fact the biggest challenge will be to maintain their minority languages.

In addition to general information on dual language acquisition, the book describes foreign language education and multilingual schools in the Netherlands, which was interesting to read also.

Well written, recommended.

Elisabeth van de Lenden and Folkert Kuiken

Haring and Paling 2012

Last night we went to the Haring en Paling event at the Dutch Embassy. The last time we were there was seven years ago.

We saw a lot of old friends and met new people. It was interesting to talk with Petra and her son Kai about raising kids bilingually.

Nora had a blast. She was super excited about meeting all these new people and she was full of energy. She got a lot of attention from old and young peope alike. A sweet 14-month old girl tried to give her food.

Sasha, Milan and Nadia really liked the eel and herring, which are imported from the Netherlands. I had dinner at home later since fish is not really my favorite food. Nora at the other hand tried her first bite of Dutch drop (liquorice). Since we call her "dropje" sometimes it is no surprise that she enjoyed the taste a lot.


Petrus Stuyvesant, een levensschets

Petrus Stuyvesant was the last Director-General of Nieuw Amsterdam, and while the name is famous, I knew relatively little about it.

The book is written Jaap Jacobs, a well known New Netherland researcher and author. Earlier I read 'A history of New Netherland' by the same author.

In Russell Shorto's 'Island at the Center of the World' Adriaen van der Donck is the main character -- and not exactly a friend of Stuyvesant. It was interesting to know read a book from the other perspective. Jacobs did a nice job of providing more insight in the life of Stuyvesant, although the book remains a history book, and provides relatively little insight in the character of the man. The book always remains objective and neutral -- I wouldn't have minded if Jacobs provided a little more 'color' to the main character.

I believe I bought this book while visiting the Netherlands last year. I read it during two long nights, while waiting for Nora to fall asleep when she was almost four weeks old.

Jaap Jacobs

Dutch Design mug

Two weeks ago I replied to a small contest by the Dutch Embassy on Facebook, "tell us what your Dutch heritage means to you". I wrote: "Sharing stroopwafels with my colleagues today. And drinks tonight at Mackey's Pub in DC".

They awarded all participants with a price, so today I received a beautiful Dutch Design mug in the mail. Thank you, Dutch Embassy!


A great find: Tales Told in Holland

Today we went to the booksale of the Durham Library, always a nice way to spend a Saturday morning.

Last year I bought a beautiful edition of Rip van Winkle; this year I found another gorgeous Dutch-American book: Tales Told in Holland. Of course, with sites like and Amazon you can order any book you like on-line, but there is something very satisfying about browsing big piles of books and finding a hidden gem like this.

Published in Chicago, this book is a collection of Dutch stories and nursery rhymes. Stories include Hugo de Groot's escape in a chest with books and the Lady of Stavoren, as well as many others that I didn't know. It is really fun to see Dutch children's rhymes translated into English, including Sinterklaas songs.

The introduction starts like this:

"Tales Told in Holland consists chiefly of stories with a few translations from the greatest Dutch poets and a few old Dutch nursery rhymes, naive and nonsensical as our English rhymes, and contrasting interestingly with the far more sophisticated rhymes of the French. "

My copy is a first edition from 1926 and thus over 85 years old. It is in good shape for its age and I'm really happy with it.


Queen's Day

Queen's Day.Tonight I attended two parties for Queen's Day in New York.

Both drew large crowds; there were hundreds of Dutch people, most of them in orange. Within 5 minutes at the first party somebody spilled beer on me; totally in line with past experiences years ago. It was a lot of fun; I especially enjoyed the second one in Mars 2112, organized by

Queen's Day is my favorite day in the Netherlands, wonderful memories of Amsterdam.


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