The Divorce Wedding
Typical Dutch indeed
Sure, I am Always Talkin’ Food, but I teach NT2 (Dutch as a second language) on the side. Mainly to young foreigners who came to Amsterdam for or with love. For privacy reasons the names in these columns are fictitious.
She just got engaged, Luisa. She and her Dutch husband-to-be are now planning their wedding.
Or, who knows, two weddings: one in Colombia and one here.
During our Dutch class, Luisa asks what a typical Dutch wedding entails.
I rack my brains.
‘I don't know', I answer truthfully after a while. ‘I hardly know anyone who is married. Maybe that's typically Dutch?'
The Colombian nods thoughtfully.
'A separable wedding. That is so very Dutch.'
Krystle has lived in Amsterdam for five years and has already experienced it a few times within her Dutch in-laws and circle of friends.
Did Krystle really say "separable wedding"?
In the previous lesson, we extensively exercised the "separable verbs" - another Dutch phenomena. Verbs that are sometimes glued tot heir prefix and at other times are separated from it.
I hesitate. ‘You mean...?’
‘A wedding in separate parts,' the American clarifies. ‘Some are invited to this part, others to that. But you hardly get invited to all parts.'
Suddenly I realize that my niece is getting married next month. And we're not welcome to the ceremony, only to the party in the evening.
‘Your niece? And you’re not invited to her big moment?’ Luisa is flabbergasted.
‘Yes, and sometimes you're invited to the ceremony, but not to the dinner, and then again to the party afterwards. In the meantime you have to find something else to do.' Krystle has the same look as Obelix when puzzled by those strange Romans.
As an outsider, Krystle saw it crystal clear. Separating on your wedding: typically Dutch indeed.
It was a sunny Saturday morning when I took my Dutch language students Krystle and Luisa on a treasure hunt through an Amsterdam neighborhood. A playful way to learn the language by doing. Automatically my eyes always turn to food. So when we approached the Hermitage Museum, I could not resist showing them the lovely, off the grid, newly opened organic food market in the Museum’s courtyard. Every Saturday you can order a roast chicken from the rôtissoir, buy your vegetables, or sit in the grass underneath the chestnut tree and eat your sandwich porchetta from De Herkomst.
Hermitage Markt in de Tuin, every Saturday 9:30 AM-4:30 PM. Enter via the Amstel river.
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