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The Dutch

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Connections June-July ISSUE #41 2013 / www.connect-int.org

1st June 2013 17.00 - 01.00

13 - 15 June, Swingin’ Groningen, Groningen www.swingingroningen.nl The 20th edition of Swingin’ Groningen will take place this year with national and international acts taking part. The festival will open with the 20th Anniversary Tribute Band. On Friday and Saturday, live acts, including Wouter Hamel, Timo Lassy and Yuri Honing will perform throughout the entire city on podia located at the Grote Markt, Poeleplein, Waagplein, Ellebogenbuurt and on Zuiderdiep. On Thursday evening, the Northern European Jazz talent contest will be held on the Waagplein. Six finalists from conservatories in Russia, Gemany, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and the Netherlands, will compete for the GasTerra Energizing Future Talent Award. On Saturday afternoon, there is ‘Stadskabaal’ on the Waagplein, a performance from 150 children and youth from the city. The Swingin’ Groningen Showcase will also be launched, which is a new portion of Swingin’ Groningen, where 12 talented young bands will get a chance to showcase their music to the public. These performances will take place on Thursday and Friday in the Newscafé, Buckshot Café and Jazzcafé De Spieghel.

Groningen Airport Eelde A Zoover Award Winner for Best Airport The runway at Groningen Airport Eelde was extended this April, allowing the airport to be able to provide flights to more destinations in the coming years. The airport is growing quickly in popularity with the number of passengers growing 40% in 2012, and it has won an award from Zoover for Best Airport. Currently, there are regular flights to destinations in Turkey, Greece, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Canary Islands, and Italy. The flights shown in red may be added in the coming years. Check their website for news and the latest information:

www.groningenairport.nl


Connect International serves the international community in the provinces Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, and Noord Holland.

UNDER ONE ROOF CONNECTING

RELOCATION

INFORMATION

Supported by an international staff and Board of Directors, we provide quality relocation services, and practical information to help familiarize international residents with all aspects of living, working or studying in the Northern Netherlands, and organize events and activities to facilitate making further connections.

Everything to

YOU NEED

Yourself at HOME in MAKE

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Scott McLaren Tom Borgoyn Daniel Olivieri Mark Bisson Maria Colomé Taché Lisa Watkins Ramon Diaz Vasquez

THE NETHERLANDS

CONNECTIONS NEWSLETTER Advertising Rates per Monthly Advert 1/2 page

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Nijestee Helping to Welcome the World

Contact: Head Office: Herestraat 106, Room 1.06, 9711LM Groningen Telephone: 050 7440087 Email: info@connect-int.org / connect@connect-int.org Website: www.connect-int.org Alkmaar Office: Bovenweg 121, 1834 CD Sint Pancras Tel: 06 25394234 Email: connectnoordholland@connect-int.org

2 / Connections

Publication Team: Editor & Publication Design: Alison Day Assistant Editor: Margaret Metsala Contributers to This Issue: Karen Prowse, Margaret Metsala, Alison Day, Anne Bridges, Andrea Kullek, Claire Regan


Rental

Housing

Increases

CHANGES IN RENTAL HOUSING LAWS EFFECTIVE 1 JULY 2013

Both Social (subsidized) and Private (free-market) Housing can be Rented in the Netherlands SOCIAL HOUSING

The government declared in the coalition agreement that the social rented sector would focus more on people who really need social housing and encourage others in the social sector to move. As a result, at least 90% of a housing association’s dwellings (no more than € 681.02 rent per month in 2013) will be allocated to people with a household income of less than €34,299 a year (in 2013).

Inflation + 4.0% for household incomes greater than € 43,000 Since inflation for 2012 was 2.5%, the new rental increases on 1 July 2013 will be:

• • •

4% for household incomes up to € 33,614 4.5% for household incomes from €33,614 to € 43,000 6.5% for household incomes greater than € 43,000

In addition, for the past five years, the maximal yearly rental increase for social housing was equivalent to inflation. From 1 July 2013, the percentages for the maximal rental increase will be higher than inflation. This will mean that the rental increase will be the following:

For those who qualify for the rental allowance from the Tax Service (Belastingdienst), the extra 1.5% increase above inflation will be largely compensated for by the allowance.

PRIVATE HOUSING

Inflation + 1.5% for household incomes up to € 33,614 • Inflation + 2.0% for household incomes from € 33,614 to € 43,000

percentage per year that the rent may increase. This means that the landlord can decide to increase the rent by any amount, unless stated otherwise in the rental contract. The rent may still only increase once per year, unless substantial improvements are made to the property during that year. Furthermore, the landlord is not required to notify the tenant within a certain period of time of the increase. In case of a dispute, the landlord and tenant may take the matter before a judge.

For people who rent housing from the free-market sector (anyone who pays more than € 681.02 rent per month), there is no maximum

The 23rd Euromarkt at the European School Bergen Yes, it's almost that time again! The grand annual Euromarkt at the European School Bergen, located at the Molenweidtje 5 in Bergen NH, organised by the Parents' Association, will be held this year on the 23rd of June 2013, from 11:00 until 16:00. As in previous years there will be delicious culinary food from different countries represented. There will be food stalls from i.e. the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Great Britain, Spain, Greece, South-Africa, Scandinavia, etc. There will also again be a large flea market, book market, Gameland, and sports activities.

We are very happy to welcome you!! For more information: www.europeanschool-parents.nl Connections / 3


June

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CONNECT Writer’s Circle Groningen, Alkmaar Enschede Utrecht Zwolle

CONNECT

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CONNECT Walk & Talk

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CNH Morning Coffee

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Career Workshops

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CONNECT

Career Workshops

HIGHLIGHTS CONNECT

(Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe) CONNECT Coffee Morning Date: 14, 28 June Time: 10.30 - 12.30 hrs Place: La Place, V & D, Groningen Cost: Whatever you choose to eat or drink. CONNECT Writers Circle Date: 5, 26 June Time: 19.30 - 22.00 hrs Place: See website

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CONNECT Writer’s Circle

CONNECT Int. Quiz Night

Summer Solstice

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27-29 Assen TT

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CONNECT Coffee Morning

PLEASE CHECK:

www.connect-int.org

NOT ALL EVENTS CAN BE LISTED AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION

CONNECT Crafts Club Date: 17 June Time: 10.30 Place: Stephanie Fermor CONNECT Career Workshops Date: 5, 9 June Time: TBA, 19, 23 Place: See website CONNECT Kidz Club (Playgroup) Once a month - see website for details CONNECT Culinary Club Once a month - see website for details

CONNECT Day Trippers Date: 8 June Time: TBA Place: City Trip to Papenburg, Germany

CONNECT Dutch Classes Pick up Dutch - The Easy Way. Time: Weekly group sessions Levels: Beginner's Class Intermediate Conversation Advanced Conversation Time & Place: See website

Connections / 4

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CNH For Coffee

CONNECT Babyccino Once a month - see website for details

CONNECT International Quiz Night Date: 26 June Time: 20.00 - 23.00 Place: Café de Koffer

Cancer Begins

CNH Play Afternoon

CONNECT Walk & Talk Fresh air walks - all welcome! Date: 9 June Time: 13.00 - 15.00 hrs Place: Varying locations - see website

CONNECT Book Club Date: 24 June Time & Place: See website Book: 'The Dark Side of Love' by Rafik Schami

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CONNECT

CONNECT Crafts Club

CNH Morning Coffee

Passion Refil Workshop

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CNH for Coffee

CONNECT Button Necklace Workshop

FULL MOON

14-16 PINKPOP Limburg

CONNECT Coffee Morning

13-15 Swinging Groningen

Career Workshops

CONNECT

CONNECT Day Trippers

Career Workshops

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CONNECT Running Club Once a month - see website for details

CNH

(Noord Holland) CNH Morning Coffee Date: 7, 12, 19 June Time: 09.00 - 11.30 Place: @ Sarah Dekker Flynn, Oudorp (7), Anna Parker, Alkmaar (12), Jayne Roggeband-Hardisty (19) CNH Coffee Connection Child-free Zone!! Date: 10 June Time: 09.30 Place: @ Robyn Res-Thomas, Uitgeest CNH for Coffee Date: 14, 28 June Time: 20.00 Place: @ Sarah Dekker Flynn, Oudorp (14), Begoña Santillana, Heemskerk (28) CNH Play Afternoon Date: 26 June Time: 09.30 Place: @ Federica Scotto di Tella


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CONNECT Coffee Morning CNH for Coffee

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CONNECT Crafts Club

SCHOOL VACATION BEGINS (to 25 Aug.)

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CONNECT Coffee Morning

CNH Play Afternoon

CNH for Coffee Leo Begins

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CONNECT Crafts Club

Leeuwarden

HIGHLIGHTS

PLEASE CHECK:

www.connect-int.org

NOT ALL EVENTS CAN BE LISTED AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION

CONNECT

CNH

(Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe) CONNECT Coffee Morning Date: 12, 26 July Time: 10.30 - 12.30 hrs Place: La Place, V & D, Groningen Cost: Whatever you choose to eat or drink. CONNECT Walk & Talk Fresh air walks - all welcome! Date: 14 July Time: 13.00 - 15.00 hrs Place: Varying locations - see website CONNECT Day Trippers Date: 21 July Time: TBA Place: City Trip to Pieterburen Seal Hospital CONNECT DVD Night Date: 5 July Time: TBA Place: See website

(Noord Holland) CONNECT Kidz Club (Playgroup) Once a month - see website for details CONNECT Culinary Club Once a month - see website for details CONNECT Babyccino Once a month - see website for details CONNECT Running Club Once a month - see website for details CONNECT Dutch Classes Pick up Dutch - The Easy Way. Time: Weekly group sessions Levels: Beginner's Class Intermediate Conversation Advanced Conversation Time & Place: See website

CNH Morning Coffee Date: 5, 10, 17 July Time: 09.00 - 11.30 Place: @ Laurie Kaptein, Heemskerk (5), Jayne Roggeband-Hardisty, Barsingerhorn (10), ?Hostess (17) CNH Play Afternoon Date: 24 July Time: 14.00 m- 16.30 Place: @ ?Hostess CNH Coffee Connection Child-free Zone!! Date: 8 July Time: 09.30 Place: @ Isabel Maree, Castricum CNH for Coffee Date:12, 26 July Time: 20.00 Place: @ Caroline Larkin, Alkmaar (12), Bobbi Jo, Uitgeest (26)

CONNECT Crafts Club Date: 8, 29 July Time: 10.30 Place: Stephanie Fermor

Connections / 5


Independent

Artistic

TALENT

communicating through CREATIVITY

Alison Day Designs “Why don’t you write a piece about yourself, including lots of pictures of art? Make it a two-page spread, if you like!” the calm suggestion flowed from the handset into my left ear. “Dangerous” I mused, as I surveyed the collection of weeds waving at me from the garden, through the French doors in the living room. “You probably shouldn’t have said that, you could end up with the fattest Connections ever – the Alison Day issue!” I laughed, thankful that the weed invasion would be temporarily left to their own devices again, as the cogs of the wheels of my imagination kicked in. How would the page(s) look, what images should I use, and what to say, do I mention that this is my last issue? … Where to begin; 1 April 2005, I set up my own business, and yes, I expressly choose April Fool’s day as the starter date! By 2006, along with a spattering of other clients, for whom I freelanced, I had also joined Connect International, as Editor, designer and writer for the Connections magazine. Initially, Alison Day Designs encompassed the odd bit of design work here and there, a translation from Dutch to English, whilst my on-going artistic creations materialized one by one in the background. These came in to existence often from my exploration of a variety of multi-media possibilities and art processes, the results of which were all uploaded to my self-designed, self-built, and growing website:

www. alisonday.nl. I enjoy making interior room dividers and mosaics, as well as have an on-going love for the

6 / Connections

medium of papiermâché. This I incorporate into my artworks, which I refer to as papiermâchémosaics. As decoration, I not only use acrylic paint, but also re-cycle: plastic, wrappings, cans, and bric-a-brac, materials that would otherwise end up in the trash. One day, however, a new direction arrived when Louisa Penton, a founding member of Connect International, suggested: “You’ve got a nice voice, why don’t you go and do a voice test?” This was the start of my voice being noticed,

and, I am now regularly chosen for voice overs used in museums throughout the Netherlands, and abroad: London, Belgium, Sweden, Curacao and Suriname; the latter two for a publisher of educative English audio books. One day, I would love to be asked to read kids’ stories or adult novels, and for this I am seriously considering setting up a small studio in my home. Want to hear samples of my voice? Head on over to: soundcloud.com/alisondaydesigns. I discovered, through writing articles for the Connections that I actually enjoyed writing, and, after following the course: Write your Life Stories, given by Jo Parfitt of Summertime Publishing, I wrote a short story, about the careless summers of my youth in Greece. To my delight this was published, as part of a collection of stories along with other expatriates the world over, in: Forced to Fly (Summertime Publishing 2012), a super book filled with tips and stories, and one which I also helped re-publish, in its second incarnation, by doing the internals as well as fifty accompanying black and white illustrations. Other published illustrative work has included working for an online magazine, on and off for a couple of years, in between other assignments, for: Amelia’s Magazine.com. A trendy publication covering: art, music, fashion and earth issues; call-ups are made via Twitter, and illustration deadlines can vary from 24-hours, to a couple of days; stressful at times admittedly, but exhilarating to see one’s illustrations published! For other musings and writings I have a blog. Here all the articles I have ever written for the Connections can be found, as well as art and


design that I find either interesting or ludicrous enough to share: alisondaydesigns.blogspot.com. Apart from my website, I also have a webstore: Etsy: AlisonDayDesigns, where I offer handmade jewellery, and my other creations for sale, as well natural stone jewellery and Murano glass pendants. A selection of my designs and illustrations can also be found in the POD stores of CafePress and Zazzle. Although the opportunity offered by online sites to use their interface to sell ones artwork is handy, I fully intend to build a webstore into my website, in order to sell my artwork and prints, commission free. Recently, I took part in a competition for the up and coming: De Nacht van de Kunst en Wetenschap, in Groningen, on the 1st June. Amazingly, I won, as a result of the support of my brilliant network, via Social Media, and my Taurean determination to win. This has won me, embarrassingly enough, my face on a 2x2 metre billboard in the centre of town, with me on it holding an enormous ostentatious Like hand, the photo having been taken in the Noorderplansoen, the local park. I will also be presented with - a golden Like – to be given to me on the night in question, and which I shall treasure for ever! From 1st June, the Connections will pass into the capable hands and fresh eye of Stephanie

Once

Fermor, as I become 100% freelance – scary in some ways, but right in others. There are, after all, the illustrations for a kids’ book to be finished, and a publisher to be found, as well as a very large, and still increasing, collection of wine corks to find a purpose for… So, if you are looking for an: Artist, Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Editor, Writer, Translator (NL-Eng.), Voice Over, please contact me: alisonday@versatel.nl or via my website: www.alisonday.nl. Also, I may well have developed a mild dependency to Social Media, as I can also be found on: Facebook: AlisonDayDesigns, and AlisonDay Designs1 (my page), LinkedIn, and Twitter: @alisondaydesign. So, it is with 7 years and 5 months under my belt, and with no more ado, accompanied by this shameless in-your-face, two-page promotion of yours truly, that I bid you adieu: “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; …” (Henry V, Shakespeare).

Alison Day

more

DEAR friends,

unto THE

once

breach,

more;

Henry V, William Shakespeare

7 / Connections


Special Events in June 2013 Night of Art and Science (Nacht van Kunst en Wetenschap), 1 June, Groningen www.denachtvankunstenwetenschap.nl Visitors can enjoy lectures, workshops, exhibitions, debates, science experiments, music, theater, dance and unique performances where art and science meet literally. This year's Night is in the sign of Energy, in the broadest sense of the word, since Energy is one of the spearheads of Groningen. There are 20 different locations, with more than 200 acts. Most performances and program components take up to 30 minutes and include scientific lectures, debates, video presentations, (interactive) prototypes, tours and various talk shows. Pop music plays a big role, but there is room for jazz, classical, folk, singer-songwriters. PINKPOP, 14-16 June, Landgraag Megaland, Limburg www.pinkpop.nl/2013/en/festival-information/tickets Every year Holland’s biggest open-air festival takes place in the city of Landgraaf. PINKPOP is a multi-day event with different stages where (inter)national artists put on spectacular shows. PINKPOP is sold out almost every year. Pinkpop Highlights: The great line-up of musicians that have performed at PINKPOP since it started in 1970 proves how special this festival is. Bruce Springsteen, the Foo Fighters, Fleetwood Mac, Dire Straits, Pearl Jam, Golden Earring, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many other artists have performed at PINKPOP. Apart from being Holland’s biggest outdoor festival, PINKPOP is also the longest-running pop festival of its kind in the world. Dance and Camp: Another great feature of PINKPOP is that the festival area has a camping site that meets your needs and demands as well as those of 50.000 other campers. This makes it possible to dance and enjoy the best concerts while taking a nap in between. Oerol, 14-23 June, Terschelling www.oerol.nl/engels/test Oerol Festival takes over the entire island of Terschelling and focuses on theater shows, musical performances and street theater acts. Barns, sheds or even hollows in the dunes are part of the Oerol Festival terrain. Oerol goes on all day long for ten days in a row and attracts thousands of cultural and curious visitors. Oerol Festival Terschelling: There aren’t many festivals that can say they take over an island, but the Oerol Festival actually does! The inhabitants, bars and pubs of Terschelling join in the festive atmosphere of the Oerol Festival. Artists, musicians and dramatists guarantee a surprising program. More than just fun, Oerol plays an important role in coaching dramatists and in helping them develop their talent. Cultural Meeting Place: Oerol Festival is the perfect place for professionals to meet with colleagues from the trade, for visitors to see new shows and for dramatists to discover upcoming talents. In short, the Oerol Festival is a cultural feast for everyone on the beautiful Wadden island Terschelling. Tuin & Kunsttiendaagse, 21-30 June, various locations in Groningen Province http://toerisme.groningen.nl/en/events/groningse-tuinen-decor- kunst-en-cultuur-tijdens-tuin-kunst-tienda Groningen, the northernmost province of Holland, is of course known for the city of Groningen, its beautiful capital, as well as its beautiful landscapes and nature. The province also boasts many extraordinary gardens that are definitely worth a visit. Centuries old gardens: Borgtuinen (keep gardens), kloostertuinen (monastery gardens), slingertuinen with their meandering paths, the Hortus in Haren and Domies Toen in Pieterburen – these are all examples of beautiful gardens, some of which were created centuries ago. The design of the ter Apel monastery gardens, for instance, dates from the Middle Age! Culture in Nature: The Tuin & Kunsttiendaagse, a ten-day event revolving around gardens and cultures, uses the lovely gardens as a scene for art and culture. There are exhibitions, sculpture gardens, music performances, theatre shows, herbal workshops, and much more. It is a feast of art and culture against a backdrop of extraordinary gardens. Contact the local tourist offices (VVV) for information about times and tickets. Op Roakeldais, 26-30 June, Warffum http://www.oproakeldais.nl ‘Op Roakeldais’ is a folkloric dance festival full of movement, colour, sound and passion. Georgian machos and stern Balkan dancers show off their dancing skills. Many international dance companies will give demonstrations, workshops and shows. The dance festival, which was first held in 1996, has grown over the years into a true cultural festival. One or more performances are held every day in the dedicated 'Op Roakeldais hall' and on the site around the hall, there are all sorts of things to do, to see and to taste. Assen TT, 27-29 June, Assen www.ttcircuit.com/en/index The Assen TT is the day thousands of motorcycle fans look forward to. A day full of competitions in all classes that are raced on the attractive Grand Prix circuit. Over 100.000 visitors enjoy the excitement and unique atmosphere of the Assen TT, which is traditionally organized on the last Saturday of June. The Circuit of the Dutch TT: The circuit of the Assen TT is known as one of the best in the world for both the racers and the visitors. The seating area holds room for up to 56,000 visitors and several big screens ensure that everyone has a full view of the competition’s progress. Unique in the world is the floating ‘Geert Timmer’ tribune, where the safety zone extends to below the stand. Every Bike Fan‘s Dream: The Dutch TT is what Monaco is to the Formula 1 fans and Wimbledon to tennis enthusiasts. If you’re a fan of motorcycles, you don’t want to miss the unique atmosphere, modest admission fees and over 8 hours of excitement at the Assen TT. Some descriptions excerpted from: www.holland.com/us/tourism/activities/events-in-holland/june-1.htm

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Special Events in July 2013 Celtic Midsummer Festival, 5 – 7 July, Bad Nieuweschans www.keltischmidzomerfestival.nl During the festival in Bad Nieuweschans, there will be three stages set up, a folk music dancing festival and Irish and Scottish dance, as well as theatre, a Celtic Marriage Ceremony, an archery competition and a special Celtic/Middle Ages market with traditional hams, spare ribs, falafel and slingerchips (long strips of crisps). The Celts prepare the food on wood fires and in wood-fuelled ovens. The visitors drink from handmade earthenware beakers and eat from wooden or earthenware plates. Celtica, Saltatio Mortis and Saor Patrol play, together with many other Dutch and foreign bands, wonderful Celtic music. The seventh edition of the festival focuses on the number 7: a holy number, to which the Celts attributed mystical powers. North Sea Jazz Festival, 12 – 14 July, Rotterdam www.northseajazz.com/nl/programma The North Sea Jazz Festival has become Holland's number one jazz event. Each year, well over 65.000 visitors have the time of their life as thirteen hundred artists show them what they’ve got on fifteen stages in Ahoy Rotterdam. For three days Rotterdam is the jazz capital of the world. Music Styles and Legends You can listen to any kind of musical genres at the North Sea Jazz Festival, ranging from traditional New Orleans jazz, swing, bop, free jazz, fusion, avant-garde jazz and electronic jazz, to blues, gospel, funk, soul, R&B, hip hop, world beat and Latin. Expect performances of jazz legends like Nat Adderley, Erykah Badu, Paul Anka, Steve Coleman, Miles Davis, Candy Dulfer, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ella Fitzgerald, Alicia Keys, Lionel Hampton, Al Jarreau, B.B. King, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Jamiroquai and The Zawinul Syndicate, but also new upcoming talents that represent the future of jazz music. The Four Days Marches, 16 – 19 July, Nijmegen www.4daagse.nl/en Every year on the third Tuesday of July 40.000 people show up at the start of the greatest walking event in the world: the ‘Nijmeegse Vierdaagse’ or Four Days Marches. People from all over the world and of all ages travel to Nijmegen to stretch their boundaries and hope to receive the coveted medal. Walk of the World The Four Days Marches are also known as the Walk of the World. For four days, thousands of participants walk 30, 40 or 50 kilometers each day. A few thousand military participants walk 40 kilometers a day in uniform with a ten kilo backpack. The goal of the event has always been to promote sport and exercise. Four Days Festivals For those who are not interested in walking, the ‘Vierdaagsefeesten’ (Four Days Festival) offers a solution. The festival in Nijmegen is a mixture of music, food and drinks. If you are a walker, the Four Days Marches should be on your to-do list. Skûtsjesilen Races, 20 July – 2 August, Friesland www.skutsjesilen.nl/2013 Skûtsjes are typical Frisian ships that were originally used as cargo ships by Frisian farmers. Once a year, sailing championships are organized in which skippers of these historic ships fight for the honor of becoming the skûtsjesilen champion. The History of Skûtsjesilen Skûtsjes have a long and flat structure with which they could reach Frisian farms through shallow water. Sometimes farmers used them in sailing matches to earn some money. Due to new rules decreed by the water sport associations and the arrival of motorboats, interest in the skûtsjes declined. It wasn’t until after World War II that some skûtsjes fans started promoting skûtsjesilen again and turned it into the sailing event that it is today. Frisian Experience The skûtsjesilen championship takes place in August and offer you a great opportunity to combine water sports with Frisian heritage and fun. You can also rent a skûtsje with a skipper and experience a relaxing sailing trip.

The Buurtagent: Your Neighbourhood Helper Community is an important part of life. That is why each area has a Buurtagent who can help keep a community healthy, by keeping in touch with what is going on. They keep an eye out for the liveability and safety in your neighbourhood, and they work with other organizations as needed to enforce the rules and help people solve the problems that inevitably come up where people live together You can ask to speak to a Buurtagent if you have a problem with a neighbour that you cannot resolve between you, which could be something like loudness, messiness, or bullying. A Buurtagent will be able to explain and enforce the rules. The Buurtagent can be reached at 0900-8844. You will tell the person who answers the call where you live and you will be connected with the Buurtagent who handles your area, or they will leave a message if the person is not available. The weekday office hours are from 10:00 to 16:00, but if there is an emergency, you can call 112 or the police at 0900-8844 (same number).

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Looking for a Chiropodist in Groningen? Ambulant Chiropody Services Margaret Harryvan

Caring for your feet in your home! Bilingual, reasonable rates Registered ProVoet Please telephone or email for information and an appointment: 06 42152297 Email: mharryvan@hotmail.com

Connections / 10


Intercultural Understanding According to Professor Geert Hofstede, who conducted one of the most comprehensive studies of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture, cultures can be quantified in terms of what he calls ‘cultural dimensions’, which allows us to see the reasons for specific differences. There are six indexes, and looking at countries’ rankings helps to explain cultural differences very clearly. Power Distance (PDI) This dimension expresses the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. The fundamental issue here is how a society handles inequalities among people. People in societies exhibiting a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. In societies with low power distance, people strive to equalize the distribution of power and demand justification for inequalities of power. Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV) The high side of this dimension, called Individualism, can be defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only. Its opposite, Collectivism, represents a preference for a tightly-knit framework in society in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular in-group to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. A society's position on this dimension is reflected in whether people’s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “we.” Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS) The masculinity side of this dimension represents a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material reward for success. Society at large is more competitive. Its opposite, femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life. Society at large is more consensus-oriented. Uncertainty Avoidance (UIA) The uncertainty avoidance dimension expresses the degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. The fundamental issue here is how a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? Countries exhibiting strong UAI maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior and are intolerant of unorthodox behavior and ideas. Weak UAI societies maintain a more relaxed attitude in which practice counts more than principles. Long-term versus short-term orientation (LTO) The long-term orientation dimension can be interpreted as dealing with society’s search for virtue. Societies with a short-term orientation generally have a strong concern with establishing the absolute Truth. They are normative in their thinking. They exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results. In societies with a long-term orientation, people believe that truth depends very much on situation, context and time. They show an ability to adapt traditions to changed conditions, a strong propensity to save and invest, thriftiness, and perseverance in achieving results.

it by means of strict social norms. The Netherlands by the numbers If we explore the Dutch culture through the use of five of these models, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of Dutch culture relative to other world cultures. Power distance This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. The Netherlands scores low on this dimension (score of 38) which means that the following characterizes the Dutch style: Being independent, hierarchy for convenience only, equal rights, superiors accessible, coaching leader, management facilitates and empowers. Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team members. Employees expect to be consulted. Control is disliked and attitude towards managers are informal and on first name basis. Communication is direct and participative. Individualism The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”. In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies, people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty. The Netherlands, with a score of 80 is an Individualistic society. This means there is a high preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only. In individualistic societies offence causes guilt and a loss of self-esteem, the employer/employee relationship is a contract based on mutual advantage, hiring and promotion decisions are supposed to be based on merit only, management is the management of individuals. Masculinity / Femininity A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organizational behavior. A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine). The Netherlands scores 14 on this dimension and is therefore a feminine society. In feminine countries it is important to keep the life/work balance and you make sure that all are included. An effective manager is supportive to his/her people, and decision making is achieved through involvement. Managers strive for consensus and people value equality, solidarity

and quality in their working lives. Conflicts are resolved by compromise and negotiation and Dutch are known for their long discussions until consensus has been reached. Uncertainty avoidance The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the UAI score. The Netherlands scores 53 on this dimension and thus exhibits a preference for avoiding uncertainty. Countries exhibiting high uncertainty avoidance maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior and are intolerant of unorthodox behavior and ideas. In these cultures there is an emotional need for rules (even if the rules never seem to work) time is money, people have an inner urge to be busy and work hard, precision and punctuality are the norm, innovation may be resisted, security is an important element in individual motivation. Long term orientation The long term orientation dimension is closely related to the teachings of Confucius and can be interpreted as dealing with society’s search for virtue, the extent to which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a conventional historical short-term point of view. The Dutch score 44, making it a short term orientation culture. Societies with a short-term orientation generally exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save, strong social pressure to “keep up with the Joneses”, impatience for achieving quick results, and a strong concern with establishing the Truth i.e. normative. Western societies are typically found at the short-term end of this dimension, as are the countries of the Middle East. A comparison of the numbers between The Netherlands and various other countries is shown below. For example, the values between the USA and the Netherlands in most categories are similar, with the notable exception of the Masculinity/Femininity dimension. This difference in scores describes a major difference in work attitude between the two countries, which may be quite important to realize when working as part of a multicultural team involving people from these countries. However, please note that culture is defined as the collective mental programming of the human mind which distinguishes one group of people from another. This programming influences patterns of thinking which are reflected in the meaning people attach to various aspects of life and which become crystallized in the institutions of a society. This does not imply that everyone in a given society is programmed in the same way: there are considerable differences between individuals. Statements about culture do not describe “reality”; they are all general and relative. Excerpted from: www.geert-hofstede.com

Indulgence versus restraint Indulgence stands for a society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human drives related to enjoying life and having fun. Restraint stands for a society that suppresses gratification of needs and regulates

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