Before the class started, two Polish girls showed me their newly bought accessories for the Dutch party tonight, which took place in the ‘3 Gezusters’. The dress code was orange, the national color of Holland. Both girls knew what that meant: some nice orange glasses, an orange scarf and of course some schmink for making beautiful Dutch flags on the cheeks. But before the big party started, we had to focus on the crazy Dutch language.
The professor started the course with a question: “what’s the first thing you think about, when I say ‘Dutch language’?” Everybody screamed like a choir: “GGGGG”. The typical Dutch G is obviously a very famous pronounce. It’s difficult for foreigners to pronounce, but act like you’re very angry: grrrrrrr. Then he continued with the promise that Dutch would change our life: “it’s like bodybuilding for your face, we pronounce the words very clear, you will see!”. Everybody was very curious what that meant, because who doesn’t want a perfectly shaped face? Every sentence the professor pronounced, was followed by a lot of chuckling. The first sentence we learned was: “dag, ik ben…”. Which means “hello, I’am…”.
The class was a mix of singing Dutch songs, making some interaction and a lot of laughing. It was more like a comedy show, including the confirmation of all kinds of prejudices about Dutch people, such as: Dutch people don’t buy things, they only look at it because they are greedy (remember this Dutch sentence, you will hear it abroad: “Kijken, kijken, niet kopen”). Which, let that be clear, is not the case with every Dutch human being. Although… find out yourself.
After the class it was time to prepare for the Dutch party in the ‘3 Gezusters’, probably the most renowed café in Groningen. I met my group in the Snow Valley first (a bar at the Poeleplein, the party area in Groningen which a lot of international students visit during their study abroad). But unfortunately the Snow Valley was closed, so we went to ‘T Vaatje, another bar in the Poelestraat. The group was very surprised that the beer was only 1 euro, also known as ‘piekuur’ here in Groningen, so we had some of those yellow liquids.
After a couple of beers we went to the big party of that evening, the Dutch party! Most of the people were amazingly surprised about the rotating bar. And what’s the best thing you can do on a rotating bar? Yes, you’re so right: standing on it! And we did. Dancing the night away on top of the bar, looking at an orange glow of all crazy people who also enjoyed the evening.
In the morning I woke up with an orange scarf behind my bed, which was definitely not mine. But it reminds me of a wonderful night.
Door Beppie van der Sluis
After a day which was full of sportive activities everybody was exhausted, so it was time to sleep late today. But only for the people who had no classes, because the new semester had officially started. At 5 o’clock in the afternoon it was time for the famous Dutch class, given by a professor from the university.