The land with the insanely beautiful islands Vlieland, Terschelling and Ameland; the land with many gorgeous lakes; and to top it all off, the homeland of top model Doutzen Kroes. Friesland. Or better said: Fryslân! It’s one of the most Northern provinces of the Netherlands and forms a little world of its own. You can explore fabulous Friesland during the ESN Discover Holland Weekend May 29th– 31st 2015. But we will do some pre-exploring here. So put on your boots and let’s go!
Sorry, say what!? – For starters, no matter how well you paid attention during your Dutch lessons, no way you will understand the Friesen (the inhabitants of Friesland). They have their own language! There are several dialects in the Netherlands but ‘Fries’ (Frysk) is an official language. It’s a so called minority language. The language even has its own dialects. But those are slowly disappearing nowadays.
Fryske Festivals – Friesen are often considered to be slightly surly… In the first place I don’t really believe in this kind of stereotyping. And secondly, the several yearly festivals in Friesland surely confirm the contra. For example the Oeral Festival. A 10-days cultural festival on the island Terschelling, which is one of the biggest location theatre festivals of Europe! Feel free to check out the Oeral website. In case you’re wondering what the flag with little hearts is all about in the language setting of the Oeral website: that’s the flag of Friesland. So if you want to see how the writing of the Fries language looks like, view the website in Frisian!
Hey beautiful blond babe – Once more a little stereotyping. The Dutch women are often pictured as tall, blond and blue eyed by non-Dutchies. But as soon as you set foot in the Netherlands you’ll see that this image is not completely correct. The weird thing is that we Dutchies project this stereotype of tall, blond and blue eyed women on the ladies in Friesland. No worries, we know that also this image is not completely correct. However, Friesland did bring us the international top model Doutzen Kroes. Who is, yes guess what, tall, blond and blue eyed! I’ll keep my fingers crossed that she is paying her family a visit while you are joining the Discover Holland Weekend, guys.
Ship ahoy, sailor! – Friesland is located on the coast and also contains a lot of lakes. No wonder that water sports are highly popular in this area. Think of sailing and fierljeppen. A yearly international sailing event in Friesland is the Sneekweek with daily sailing competitions and plenty of side activities such as a music festival and a fair. Fierljeppen is a Frisian term. When I tried translating the Dutch term ‘polsstokverspringen’ in English I got tossed back to ‘fierljeppen’. Well, I guess that’s the known term for it. But if we use a more loose translation it will bring us to ‘far leaping’. Anyhow, it’s a traditional Dutch sport by which you try to leap as far as possible over a ditch with the help of a leaping pole.
This is just a sneak peek into the fabulous world of Friesland. In Dutch terms the province is quite far away from Utrecht. But hey, you internationals consider a distance like that as a joke. So what’s stopping you from spending time up in the North?
What?ESN Discover Holland Weekend Friesland: SPLASH!
When? May 29th – 31st 2015
Where? Langweer, Friesland
What are you waiting for? Go get your ticket at the ESN Office!
Fun fact: although I’m not from Friesland, my name is. So I can sign this article in the Frisian style.