Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Dutch Series # 1

Not only was I born in a country with little of a beret tradition, I emigrated to a country with an even smaller beret presence!
Alas, at least I rekindled what little there was here, with the NZ-Series on this Blog and selling a few nice Elósegui's and Espinosas to Kiwi-folk around the country.
I must have a talent for choosing these illogical and poor-marketable situations; my novels are very much New Zealand novels, but written in Dutch - not the easiest to sell to a Dutch audience...

As I wrote before, berets were definitely a tradition in my family and there will be lots of people of my generation who remember their fathers coming home from work on their bicycles, wearing alpinos (the Dutch word for berets). That sight is pretty much gone now. Somehow, the beret has become a trademark of the comedian, often of the more silly kind (it's not a specifically Dutch trademark though); I quote NZ artist and beret wearer Peter Madden:
"I am often bemused at the way the beret is used as a prop in comedy to ridicule say an over serious artist, this symbolisim
seems to bleed over to every day use [for those of weak minds].
I would have thought the
superfolous scarf more fertile comedy than the beret? I suppose
one could trace such comedy back to cartoons [their is a thesis
But, back to the Netherlands: I think it may be good to start a "Dutch Series" here and I'll do my utmost best to not only portray comedians.
Let's start with another van Kooten en de Bie, artists who I wouldn't dare call comedians; founders of the Simplistic League, masters with language and the moral conscience of the Dutch for decades. I am sorry I missed this exhibition - 20.000 km's away.


  1. OMG, you love Bob Dylan & Gogol Bordello. You're amazing.

  2. From my personal experiences and having smurfed hard in Holland back in the 80's, the Dutch are a cold and bitter race of folk so it's no serious wonder that they wouldn't be a part of the beret crowd. Unlike the Basques of Northern Spain and their descendants who are serious yet jovial and cannot make a move without their trusty txapela!

    Much like Silver & the Lone Ranger, or the chocolate & the peanut butter in a Reese peanut butter cup these things are intrinsically intertwined like the Ambrosia & Nectar of the Greek Gods. Alas, if only the Dutch would ease up and embrace the goodness that is the beret :)

  3. Wow Pedro! Sounds like your experiences in the Netherlands weren't overly positive... But trust me, not all of those 16 million Dutch(wo)men are cold and bitter (and I'm not talking about the ones who emigrated to New Zealand, only:)).