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world citizenship
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Kosmopolis Institute Publications Day 24: Good Stuff

Day 24: Good Stuff

- While writing this blog we are listening to Arshad’s Bollywood music online radio channel –We are drinking ‘Dutch courage’ (formerly known as beer: We developed our own slang within this very month) -


Born stubborn me

Will always be

Before you count

One two three

I will have grown my own private branch

Of this tree’


The course is over. I am really tired: Lack of sleep. I couldn’t sleep early because I had to digest impressions. If I was able to sleep early, I woke up early to study.


You gardener

You discipliner

Domestically

I can obey all of your rules

And still be, be’


I think I am having a crisis. A crisis: a situation were normal habits are no longer sufficient to cope with things of important matter. Please believe me: It is not that I am begging for attention. It doesn’t hurt, at least, not too bad. Is this the pluralism effect? This ís the designated result of a course like this.


I thrive best hermit style

With a beard and a pipe

But now I can't do this

I never thought I would compromise.’


In my paper I wrote I became someone else through the contact with the other participants. I am having other thoughts now than a month ago. The scary thing is one can’t really control or overlook such a situation... After a while, I probably see the worth and the beauty, but for now it is just shaky and confronting. I developed into a more plural being.


The course is over. I find it sad. I am melancholic. I find it weird: I felt we just started – and now it is over already. I am happy it is finished. I am proud we achieved só much together. We learned so much.


Here just a few random snapshots in my contemporary memory: I have been really touched by the singing of a choir in a Catholic mass. The people greeted us en masse when we introduced ourselves in the mass (a weird experience for such a non-religious person as I am!). Ánd, probably the first time there were some Muslims in this church!


We have been on a campus which was in the middle of the mountains (Qwa Qwa). An interesting experience, because I expect universities to be in urban areas. But I can’t stop wondering where people can find any place to do internships?


When did the Dutch started to call some streets and squares Bikostreet or –square? And if the Dutch people became morally and historical correct about apartheid and other injustices, why are there still the ‘seahero’ neighbourhoods (streets with names of famous dutch captains of the navy), with names like‘Van Riebeeckstreet’? Weren’t those guys just ordinary colonizers?

My grandfather, who turned 90 last week, lives in a seahero-neighbourhood. He was born on a rather small Dutch island called Ameland. It is only 10 km long and not even one km wide. My grandfather had too many brothers for the amount of farm work available on this strip of land north of the mainland of The Netherlands. Because of that, the sons had to leave the island, to find work elsewhere. They settled in the industrial zone of the Zaanstreek. When my grandfather left the island as a teenager, the very first time he left Ameland, it probably have felt like a travel to the other end of the world. It could be possible that if somebody offered my grandfather and his brothers a job in South Africa, I would speak Dutch with a funny weird accent and be good at rugby instead of soccer. In noticed I was rather negative to the Afrikaner culture; ‘Those white colonizers!’ Slowly modesty dripped into my mindset. Can one blame one or a group that easy?


Happily, one of the lecturers, namely JC van der Merwe, and as well some bachelor students from the University of the Free State, are coming to Holland in September. I will be delighted to meet them again and show them the country where I was born.


Frank Nieuwenhuizen


(If somebody feels like it, I would like to suggest to listen to Unison, a song by the Icelandic singer Björk. The lyrics do illustrate quite well how my feelings developed throughout this course. (Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4kJ_8ZlDNw ))