Coexistence is only fun when it’s mutual

I came to the Netherlands at the end of 1994 and did not even know that there were many other groups of people living in Europe I was in Holland for 3 weeks and we stayed in because there was too much snow outside. We had never experienced snow before. My brother had applied after his study in Zimbabwe and was adopted at an international organization in the Hague. We came as expats.

One day we went to the other side of the Hague, where the market was, on advice from my brother’s colleague. So that was in the Schilderswijk. We lived in Statenkwartier, behind Frederik Hendriklaan there at the tourist. Quite an expensive district of the Hague.

It wasn’t convenient to go bycar to Hobbemastraat on Saturday because it could be very busy.

We went by the tram, tram 11 and when we approached, the market on I saw huge many other people and as I learned at school, I knew something about Asians, Africans and people from the middle east, Jamaica, Venezuela And Cuba. Bob Marley has even been to my country.

The world has opened, because I kept asking my brother and then he made books for me including the Undutchables.

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Until today, we in the south of Africa do not learn how slavery has taken place in other countries. I celebrated Sinterklaas after I met my Dutch husband He fourth that in Veenendaal and we went there on the presents.

I liked how people were connected to each other when they read the poems. I’m in favor of connection. I like it when families do things with each other. So packages night was fun to be with. But there are plenty of other ways
In 2007 before I had kids, I played black UNPAINTED Pete because I wanted to see how kids would react. I did this because I was just doubting and because I already noticed colleagues and people around me had those other colors that they weren’t happy about it. I’ve seen comments from the kids. They didn’t see me differently. I was scared. The fact that we have not done slavery history in Zimbabwe explains a lot of confusion in what is happening in the Netherlands. There are also pretty few Zimbabweans here because the embassy is in Brussels. The behavior of a Dutchman to me is different from a behavior of a french or English to me. Let alone the behavior of someone from Austria and Switzerland. Let’s get to know our past better, and look at our upbringing from then, and upbringing from now. Sometimes you can’t stick around in the past because it makes you feel good. I say, just keep making poems for each other. Connect to each other, within families and families. You’ll see that you don’t need a party to get together. In Zimbabwe, we celebrate everything. As long as there’s music, drums, and dancers. The point being:

I understand the feeling of people who have ancestors with a slavery past. One would like to see a normal society where a black woman, for example, can run her own business without having to prove extra for it.
I recently got to know a lot of Surinamese and Antillean. But also get to know a lot of Dutch people. Both sides have a story. I can’t say I’m putting a story on the side and I understand the other story. I’d rather not put myself in a booth. I’ll actually just want to see the world as one. That’s how I want to raise my children. I already do.

Well, I can speak for myself. I love connection, #bonding #familybonding #humanbonding.
It hurts me when I see that in the country where I live a lot of hate comes to each other because people are afraid of change. Look at yourself and see how many people are trying to share love. What do you like about each other, cherish that. What better? Correct each other, support each other. Keep smiling it’s not the end on the world. I see a lot of people today who go to Africa or share other world and these people come back with enormous respect for how other people live. You can’t say you know better. Can hardly ever.

Integratiecursus doesn’t work until you’re the one who’s well-known, so we call it native here.

How did it come that I can learn languages easily?

In 1998 I met my current husband and then only I got interest in Dutch society and language. Otherwise, I would have just gone back to Zimbabwe after my study and or to a country where they just have English as a language. Canada, New Zealand, or England. We spoke in English first. 3 years later I could already speak fluent Dutch and write.

Still learned how to make couscous and Asian rice o yes and pom I can make. I know the seasons of Stampotten (typical dutch food), too. That already indicates that the Netherlands is a multicultural country. Ever counted how many European people live in Africa? And that by country.

What I never did was that I was looking for fellow human beings from my native country. I didn’t need that, though I’m still homesick. Development wouldn’t be so stimulated. I’d like to learn something else, other language of the residents themselves. I’ve been seeing this for years that, now that I’ve mastered the language, I easily get in touch with a lot of people.

I don’t like organized holiday myself, I’d rather come among people. In Greece and all the other countries, people are simply to be trusted than what is being told here sometimes. A piece of autonomy.

My husband said, ” Honey, do you know why I’m so crazy about you “? you speak a bum today, you make him laugh, average person, and you make him laugh ” yesterday you just spoke the minister and in the same way And you made him laugh ” you’re a world woman.

Secretly, I was proud.

Because I control the language well, I don’t feel so soon threatened by my own fears. I understand what one means. I even went to buy the “Bartlett” and every time again the new green book.

My very first dutch teacher I remember well. Mrs. Spout, what a lovely woman that was. Every year, a good deal with “the big dictation” is delicious in front of Television and join all those difficult words. Someday I’d like to join in real. I’m now at a stage where I’m just being asked in the playground by other mothers if I was adopted. Whether I was a baby when I moved in here. Fortunately, I always say that I was born and raised in Africa. On My 22th pass, I came to live here.

I’ve been able to travel a lot through the Now I’d like to drive over the afsluitdijk! That sounds like a lot of fun! Friesland and drenthe I need to get to know even better. All the other regions I have been, partly because I took a “Zomertoerkaart” from the ns every summer and then could travel unlimited by the Netherlands. That’s great. Now I have my license, also something like that.. not born here so only later after your 30st your driver’s license.. I’ll tell you that in my next blog. I’m also grateful because I can now run my company a little better, transport kids. Even if I can do it on the bike, sometimes it’s handy. Now I travel a lot through my work, but I still don’t want to use Tomtom, then I’m so dependent again and I don’t know where I really am. I’m really not cocky hear ūüėČ.

Yet it falls to me when I have someone who is born and raised in the Netherlands the ruling my mother dares to write. So far, there was no tolerated when you write or speak wrong language.
These days with Facebook and Twitter, you can easily improve your writing skills. Still looking for the balance remains important. Because otherwise, you’re going back to the colloquial development, so then more and more people in real speak. What I am very hoping for is more correction in spelling errors, that if a friend, man or knowledge notices it immediately, it also writes the right word. That will be very nice for me.

I’ll give a tip to the one who likes to integrate. Go with the inhabitants. Are you a church man visit a church? Are you a cafe, snooker, theatre, type? Name it, save some pennies and visit the places. No money? No point, because there are plenty of volunteers who can help you to an association. Do you speak English? Make sure the residents don’t speak English to you directly. Keep asking that they speak the own language with you. Always ask for corrections, dare to speak the language and write with the mistakes. You’ll notice that one way or another you’re going to help.

That one laughs or bothers you will always run against it, it is now up to you to be strong in your shoes, because it is only for your own good.

PS. Should I have made linguistic above, please respond below with correct wording and also the correct words. Already thanks

Self slavery

I do not want to lie to you. Confidence is not for sale. You can learn to be confident and not to be overconfident.
I have realized that it may take longer for an African girl, woman, mother and all other women to realize how beautiful they are already.
How much does it take for a woman to lose confidence?
A demanding society? a demanding parent when you are teenager?
Sense of inferiority caused by either slavery or colonization therefore having problems in self acceptance. Women failing to compliment one another and rather compete? That’s a sense of inferioruty

Do not forget slavery still exist, and modern colonization too. Let alone self enslavement.

  • being privileged, when you have been told by your society and parents that its only you who counts and you are the best, therefore suffer from incompetence and scared to lose. Being privileged can be dangerous especially if you are not aware. there are always better people out there.
  • a man’s society who are brainwashed that all women should be at a certain size for them to be considered as beautiful, and that they have to be have long hair to reach an accepted standard (sexy and content)
  • Insecure women without good sex at home therefore focus on their looks and nationalize that, yet we are not all the same.
  • Fashion industry, which we as a society could influence very easily instead of them influencing us, what do they know?

Be you, be yourself, love your looks, do not imitate unless it suits you, get to know your body better and there buy clothes accordingly. Never rely on a compliment from others for you to continue.

Why I am not happy in the Diaspora

The danger of raising children in The Diaspora, when you grew up in your country of origin.

I left Zimbabwe when I was 22 years old and I have been living in The Netherlands for he pas 21 years. I now have a family and going back is not planned within a day! Let alone the ticket prices for 5 people. I do realize a lot has changed, but never underestimate what a child has been exposed to. Its powerful.

Written in November 10, 2015

As a child in the village we could really play and discover a lot without anyone giving us a label. We had a lot of space to play and possibilities to discover, build and finish everything ourselves without anyone commanding. I never played alone. People here ask us as a family why we did not opt ‚Äč‚Äčfor home education. Well then I would prefer to take my children to an African village to practice in real life

Surely, I am a doubter. I do not like developmental organizations, I am a vaccination-doubter, an education system-doubter. If I had stayed in Africa, I might have died of unavoidable illnesses, but maybe not. I did stay close to my roots, close to my parents. We have learned a lot. We lived natural building our own immune system

Working in the fields, knowing all kinds of vegetables, natural medicines, species of trees, is not something an African child learn from a researched point of view, but from a day to day living and experiencing from the elderly people.

We always kept our attention to the seasons,light from the moon. Therefore we knew when to to organize ceremonies and parties in the evenings and these are mostly organized at full moon. Then you hear drums and singing in the neighborhoods. Exchanging seeds and livestock. Nobody is poor when everyone and families are help one another without questioning so no room for individualism.

And also the cattle: milking cows, goats and sheep. That was biology lesson and that was agriculture / agriculture. Without chemical additives. My parents built huts and houses of self-baked stones without asbestos or other carcinogenic additives.

Now I live in a world where I am only raising children with my husband. Sometimes very sad. What is education without your roots? To whom can you ask questions about the first teeth, or whatever.

 


Now I have find out: whether my child might also have a chance to make a vegetable garden somewhere. There is no space or else you have to buy a piece of land which you can only use for a certain period of the years because the rest of the is filled by winter.

While we made our own balls to plays from bicycle tires and recycled fabric and other organic materials in Africa. In Europe we have to join a football club and pay a fee because football an other sport activities are no longer provided in schools.

Playfully learning is doing things in practice and not being tested and labelled!

 

In Zimbabwe we lived with a father and a mother and we had family around us. Because of the school systems we had to go all the way to the city where I saw my mother very little. My father worked in the city and my mother lived in village. I now realize how often I have missed my mother. But those moments we were together were fruit full, because my mom was practicing what she taught us.

A lot of documentaries and researches bring us back to the bonding moments of an African parent and her children

One day I had to go to the Netherlands with my brother to continue my studies. With the goal that I would go back to my parents, unfortunately life is never in our hands. My parents passed away because of the circumstances in my homeland. this added up to my loneliness and I was further from my own roots.
Now married and I had really hoped that I would have close family outside my dear family, unfortunately the answer is no.

Please see more blogs and thank you for reading and hopefully your response ‚̧

Connected by the great shared taste!

The new menu provides the possibility of sharing. Just like what we would do in African¬† countries, eating from one plate. You will find out that that’s where great stories start. Great relationships and ideas. No more individualism. With the new Restaurant Tijsterman menu humans are connected without them planning or noticing. The quality of their food connects. Their great communication skills connects.

We came to stay in our village about 2 years ago, one thing that we always looked for, were places that we can find peace when we are tired, or find good ambiance and tasty food and drinks. Because of searching we end up connecting with the people behind the scenes.  Who then tell us the story behind. This is what fascinates me and my husband.

I remember us drinking some coffee at one of this family’s restaurant and we were immediately satisfied, not because we knew the whole menu yet. But there was a connection, Interest from both ways and that was one of the reason we came back and decide to buy our own house. The personnel is well trained such that even if they do not know, or cannot provide they will always find a way to help you out.

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In two years time we visited these family’s restaurants and cafes where we could drink selected beers and wines. This was even the best solution close to our house.

We were very honored when they surprised us by an invitation to try the¬†¬†New menu Restaurant-Tijsterman so we could provide review information. We enjoyed the tastes! we enjoyed the service and ambiance. Just like our second home. Me and my husband have always shared our diner just because we wanted to taste from each other’s plate.

What I like about their selection, is an eye on the seasons and human nature. That already shows how much respect they do have to human’s health and well being.

Below you can watch a video when my children were enjoying Mussels during the season when they are available.

My children enjoying Mussels

People who know me, know that I always talk about good food, not only health but tasty and high quality. Moving from Zimbabwe to Netherlands was not easy especially when it came to food. I was shocked about the amount of groceries people did. I was shocked about the choices I had for one type of product. How much I could find in supermarkets, too much.

Unfortunately to discover that  I had to be careful what was real and not. Most people I knew were mostly saving money on food, like they would buy the cheapest type of food in the supermarket. That never tasted the way I had known when I was young.

The most confusing part was that I would then think like I read everywhere and saw on TV that Africans were poor. I ended up not looking for the type of food I grew up eating. Food like pumpkins, and most of it what they call super – foods. The first time I visited an organic shop and a fair trade shop, I then started re appreciating my original African food.

Now that i live in a small village where the real farmers live and sell their products directly, I do feel the connection.

Even though we also adopted old British kitchen, the traditional kitchen in Zimbabwe still was the best for me as it was pure. I remember whenever I visited England or Scotland that I would pass by a traditional shop to buy typical British Cornish pastry, scones or tea. Because of travelling, I tended to like the Borough market more, even the handmade traditional food, that you can no longer find in bigger supermarkets.

Food processing killed my appetite and that made me even travel more. I visited different restaurants and ignored the fact that some have a 2 or 3 stars. I wanted to know more about who is behind the kitchen, what are their beliefs, how do they feel about what I tasted so far. I was looking for connection.
My parents definitely taught me how to taste and appreciate not just to eat because people are hungry. My father used this word culinary a lot and now I do understand what it means. I remembered my mom making lots of traditional Zimbabwean food 

So the way the Tijsterman family and their restaurant do really brings me back to my old traditional taste, organic and connection. I realized that that’s the place I like to be with my family for almost everything they do provide.

See the pictures:

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One of my biggest cultural shocks in the world is now solved.

I have been living in the Netherlands for the past 20 years. I had lots of cultural shocks in positive and negative ways. I have learnt to laugh about very simple things like my own identity just because I never wanted people to see me as a bad person.
Which also means accepting something that is a bit disrespectful to my own culture. But as I remember most people were always curious about how I have lived in Africa.

What changed me were my children? I had my first child in 2008, Instead of having to explain my culture again and again, I started practicing it.
I realized I had a lot to explain to my children. Most difficult was that there were not so may things that represented me as an African princess, African Doll and even in the windows where people did the window shopping.
I felt really bad about it and realized it wasn’t something I could change very easily than embracing who I was.
In Zimbabwe where I grew up, we lived mostly according what we imitated from colonialism.
So when we thought of buying a doll, it was always a white doll,  shops were full of them. I also think there were people of African origin who may have wanted to see something or someone who represented them as nice, black people who did not only fought wars and went through slavery.
I am really happy that I started carrying my baby’s and breastfed them as I remembered from the village in Zimbabwe.
In the cities especially Harare where I went to school, my parents explained to me a lot about different classes. You would be considered rich when you lived in a low density suburbs and poor when you were living in a high density suburb.

So many people would embrace the rich culture more. For example, when you see a black person buying a very big car for a better status or trying to lighten skin color to be able to look more prettier because this was perceived as beauty.

Oh mom I want to look pretty, and white skin was the only skin presented as pretty.

I have realized that if we cannot teach our children our African history, no-one else will. So it starts with self acceptance, self reflection.

To buy a toy or an educational toy has been one of the biggest cultural shock I ever had until I met Rejoice Bhila Kwaramba, the creator and owner at The dolls that represent diversity.

Please hear more of her story. She promotes self love and together we promote self reflection. she is lovely with her lovely family. I have already bought 2 dolls for my little girls and they love them. Teaching African history is much easier to understand when history is presented positively.

Representing my self, my origins, my well being has become a big lesson such that I begin to realize  how important it is for schools to learn the positive things about my origins.

We need more embracing, more people helping us doing this.  I will share some of my shocks:

-On television there were not so may people represented as African origin without that they were called poor.

-Every child I know from school is taught to help poor African children. I do agree  that there are countries that went through a lot, such that they need help, but not at all the time

If there was a commercial on television and there was an African origin family, it always looked like they were not organised. Those few things disturbed me.

So now that we can buy a black doll just like a barbie it means we have a good start of self acceptance without having to explain.

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Elkaar helpen in de wijk

In Zimbabwe waar ik opgroeide zijn ouders ontzettend aanwezig tijdens de opvoeding (en zelfs zwangerschap), met steun van familie en tantes. Ze dragen de kindjes veel en ze  verplichten elkaar om borstvoeding te geven. Ze helpen in de opvoeding en corrigeren elkaar waar nodig ( It takes a village to raise kids). Doordat ze dichtbij de natuur staan voelt dit als heel normaal. De hele maatschappij helpt elkaar en elkaars kinderen, waardoor de kinderen niet zo gauw lastig worden.
Helikopter gedrag
Wat mij wel opvalt nu mijn kinderen ook naar school gaan. Dat er ouders zijn die overal aanwezig willen zijn om controle te hebben op hoe en waar de kinderen mee bezig zijn.
Ouders die moeite hebben met het loslaten geloof ik. Ik kan me best voorstellen dat als je ergens een schuldgevoelen over hebt, je compensatie zoekt.
Op dat moment is het wel van belang om het even in jezelf te zoeken. Wat speelt er bij mij. Sommige ouders kunnen er niet 100 % er zijn, welke leeftijd het ook is. Omdat de situatie, omstandigheden en gezondheid ze niet toelaten.
In plaats dat andere ouders die wel de mogelijkheid hebben om er te zijn voor hun kinderen neerkijken op deze ouders, die even niet kunnen zijn, zou het fijn zijn als ze dan wel even bijspringen.
Daarmee verminderen we dan het vingerwijzen gedrag en wel elkaar helpen.
Heel anders dan Afrikaanse kinderen, zie je hier best veel kindjes die eigenlijk al zelfstandig horen te zijn, maar nog zeer afhankelijk zijn. De ouders nemen alles in de handen. De mama is zeer aanwezig op school, alles controleren en regelen, terwijl een meisje van 9 jaar best al veel kan. #Loslaten misschien?
Ik als Afrikaanse moeder, leer enorm veel van ouders die op zo’n Nederlandse manier dingen ondernemen met kinderen, tot een bepaalde hoogte. En dat is bij mij leren loslaten en kinderen vertrouwen en ze het gevoel geven dat ze ook mensen zijn.
Hoe dan ook situaties verschillen en niet alles hoeft precies op een manier te gaan.
Ik geloof ook niet dat de hele dag op een schoolplein hangen, gelijk is aan liefdevol zijn voor je kinderen.
Wij doen het allemaal op onze eigen manier en leren van elkaar.
Dat steeds meer kinderen slecht eten, naar niets of niemand luisteren, of psychisch in de knoop zitten: sociaal pedagoog Gitty Feddema is er zeer ongerust over. Ouders moeten zich weer over hun kinderen ontfermen, en snel!
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