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Celebrating Thanksgiving in the Netherlands

Thanksgiving is an American celebration. So why would you celebrate Thanksgiving in the Netherlands? Today we travel back and forth in time in search of the roots of the harvest festival and discover thé place to celebrate Thanksgiving.

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September events in The Hague 2017

We wave the summer holidays goodbye as the first signs of autumn creep in. Schools in the Netherlands have started again and everyone’s back to work. Many expats in The Hague have just arrived. The Dutch language, the Dutch culture, the food & the people. It’s not easy to get used to. Fortunately there are a few  September events in The Hague that make internationals feel at home.  Read more

Visit the Japanese Garden The Hague & Leiden Japan Market

The Japanese garden The Hague is only open 6 weeks in spring and 2 weeks in autumn. In 2018 spring opening is from  28 April till 10 June from 9:00 AM till 8:00 PM. Autumn opening will be from 13 till 28 October.  Every time I visit the garden, I’m just overwhelmed by all the colours! There is one particular day in May which I book in my agenda and that’s the day of the Japanese market in Leiden.

Visit Japan in The Hague & Leiden

Last year I started my Japanese day trip in the Netherlands with a bike ride through Clingedael and a first stop at the Japanese garden The Hague, from there I cycled part of the The Hague estates route and then from Wassenaar to Leiden. In Leiden centre I parked my bike close to Rapenburg and visited the Japanese market. This year I have planned a bike tour  on Sunday the 20th of May including a facts & fiction tour to the Japanese Garden The Hague, a couple of stops in the nature in The Hague/ Leiden area & a visit Japan Market Leiden.

Bridge Japanese Garden The Hague-veritasvisit

Japanese Garden in The Hague Park

The Japanese garden is the most famous of the gardens in Clingendael. It attracts over 10.000 visitors a year. One of the reasons why it is such an attraction is definitely the multitud of colours. The colours of the Japanese maples, azaleas are splendid in spring as well as in autumn.  And then there is the red bridge, one of the most picturesque and most photographed objects in the garden.

Colours as well as objects have a special meaning in this garden. Shinto is an ideology, religion and way of life which is strongly rooted in Japanese society. The design, the ornaments, the colours used in the Japanese garden The Hague  all have a symbolic meaning.

Do you feel joy and peace at the moment you see the red bridge? That is just the intention of the designer of the garden. According to Shinto the colour red is used to chase away all the bad spirits. Seeing the colour makes you feel happy.

Flag Japan market Sieboldhuis Leiden-veritasvisit

Japan Market Leiden

If you pay attention, you will also see a lot of red on the Japan market in Leiden. This year the celebration of  Japanese culture, food, music and arts takes place on Sunday, 20 May.

It will be a fantastic way to try out the Japanese martial arts, feel the beautiful kimonos, taste the sushi and the sake, see the manga fans, hear traditional Japanese music & enjoy the different stalls full of typical Japanese products. The market is a beautiful way of crossing cultural bridges and showing the century old ties between Leiden and Japan. It will make you happy, no matter what colour you see 😉






Hope to welcome you on the facts & fiction Japanese garden & market bike ride Sunday 20 May! Just drop me a line if you want more info.

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Foreign Roots of Dutch Culture

Holland’s Export Product: Culture

Great news! Dutch art and culture are top export products. I read it online, in an article on Dafne.com. It featured this beautiful image of Dutch DJ Laidback Luke and I have to admit this was one of the reasons why I actually read the full article. Looking at his picture I wondered: What would Laidback Luke tell about the Netherlands on his travels around the world? Would he mention his Manilan roots?

Holland: Start of Faraway Destination

Only 2% of the population in the Netherlands is actually a full 100% Dutch. The rest all has different ethnic, cultural backgrounds. That makes our small nation a beautiful melting pot with loads of things to discover. These discoveries you could use to start or end your journey to a faraway destination.

Off The Beaten Track with Social Media

Ok, let me explain. When I travel I more or less know what I want to see and do. From the very moment I have booked my plane ticket I start looking for places to eat, sights to see and things to do. I collect all my ideas on Tripcase or a similar trip planner. I love the ones which you can also use offline and have a good mapping system included.  But, with so many things on my travel list I also know  I have to make a selection.  I’m quite keen on going off the beaten track, exploring sites no tourist has heard of and love getting insiders tips. With the arrival of social media it has also become easier to meet people who were born there or lived there for a longer time.

The Foreign Roots of Holland

At the moment I meet these people the actual journey starts. They prepare me little snacks, serve me typical drinks, take me to the supermarkets for regional products and restaurants for local specialities. They guide me through The Hague and show me which characteristic architectural elements I have to be on the lookout for when I’m visiting their country.

The Dutch with the foreign roots and the expats in the Netherlands are proud of their backgrounds and will be happy to tell you about the country they or their ancestors came from. Seize the opportunity to get to know these strangers.  Are you travelling to an exotic destination or did you just come back from a holiday in Europe? Go on a cosmopolitan adventure with Verita’s Visit.  Discuss your travel plans or share your own travel experiences. See The Hague through foreign eyes on the multicultural cycle tours. Discover the foreign roots of Dutch culture in South Holland.

Check out my summer evening cycle tours featuring an afrobeat and an American president.

*Clip in the beginning is the part of the official video of  We’re forever  by Laidback Luke & Marc Benjamin*