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Day 8: Inburgering

February 18, 2012

Day 8 of 29 Nederlands Dagen is: Inburgering.

A burger is not so much McDonalds 1/4-pounder in this case, but rather a “citizen.”  So… inburgering  is a verb–the process of putting new citizens in society, or in short…

“Integrating.”

 

Sorry again for the rotation. I can't figure this but out. Turn your head

What makes it Dutch?

Integrations is a hot topic here these days, what with the country’s fearless leader (no, not the Prime Minister Mark Rutte, but the far less intelligent, more right wing, more close minded, and much better hair, Geert Wilders) preaching to close the Dutch borders and blaming immigrants for all of Holland’s problems.

(compare)

Mark Rutte--bachelor #1

Geert Wilders, bachelor #2, leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV)

(Better hair, right??)

As it turns out, but the way, the PVV, or Partij voor de vrijheid is only about freedom for a select few.  William Wallace should have some words. (see Octobers’ Scotland post).

Anyway, inburgering is so important these days that on my first plane to the Netherlands on September 10, 2009, I sat next to a Dutch phD student from Groningen who wrote her entire dissertation on the topic.  She said that for so long, the country had ignored an active immigration policy and just let people in without efforts to actually integrate the new groups in society. As a result, they are finding that  immigrants here are not well connected.  They also happen to be disproportionately represented in the prison system (making up a majority of the prison population despite comprising a small minority in the country’s population), they live on the outskirts of the major cities (except for Rotterdam where immigrants make up 50% of the population) and in the more impoverished areas of the country, and they are blamed for most of the crime. Note, this is not criticism of the Netherlands as clearly we have some similar situations in the United States despite that we are a country founded BY immigrants. It is merely an observation

So, that heavy topic aside, who better to facilitate integration than…???

McDonalds!!

Appeltaart is the most delicious thing in the world, and far superior to our American Apple Pie. Speculaas is a spice cookie most commonly seen around Christmas time.

Even though the following photo isn’t Dutch, I just want to give Kudos to McDonalds for keeping cultural in Halifax, Nova Scotia when I was there last August as well.  Good on ya, Micky D!

That's right, the McLobster is here in Halifax, Nova Scotia

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