That oh so allusive word from the dark and distant past…


Lately, as I’m getting older, I’ve been thinking a lot about how Holland has changed in the last forty years since I first came to live here, in The Netherlands, in the seventies.

My dear mum used to love visiting us here in Holland and loved the dutch and their hospitality, humour and typical dutch relaxed and laid back way of life. But especially she loved their… ! Their…..?
What was that word that she used to use about the dutch and that she loved so much about Holland?
For the life of me I couldn’t remember!

That word has been alluding me now, for months and months.
It is often on the tip of my tongue, as a promise. Then hinting and flirting with me in the back of my mind! And then, that allusive word, would spirit itself away and disappear again for good!

Senior moments …… I thought!

Then it began to dawn on me that not only that word was escaping me – that allusive word that seemed to summarise my, and my dear old mums, sentiments about Holland – but in conclusion not only that word had disappeared, but also that specific dutch character – that at one time must have been so prevalent and typical in Holland – must have escaped too! Disappeared! Gone from the dutch way of life, as I’d known it in the last century in the seventies, eighties and nineties, as a young woman!

It felt like a real loss! So sad! And I felt bereaved and mourned the passing of what once had been and was no more….even though I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember what it was!

Then this morning on dutch radio in an advertising campaign – yes an advertising campaign – by the dutch magazine Sire, an advert: to try and make us dutch (as I defiantly now also feel) more aware of how we should treat one another and our fellow citizens ie. more open and kinder, without racism or discrimination, and I finally and once again and at last, heard that oh so allusive and oh so typically dutch word rising like a phoenix out of the ashes from the dark and distant past! …… TOLERANCE!
Or as the dutch say …. TOLERANTIE!!

One thought on “That oh so allusive word from the dark and distant past…”

  1. Hiya neighbour,
    I think we Dutch were very tolerant when were 98% white, sort of christian and homosexuals were mainly still living in the closet.
    See you on the balcony
    Marijke

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